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Us 66, Pakistan 52, U.s. 48, United States 32, Boston 30, Taliban 25, Va 18, Karzai 18, America 15, Nato 9, Obama 7, Iraq 7, Mccain 6, Margaret Thatcher 5, Geneva 4, Britain 4, Washington 4, Asa 4, Dunford 3, Homelessness 3,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    April 16, 2013
    8:00 - 12:59am EDT  

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>> timetable, i didn't do that. >> the timetable, we hope to have two hearings and introduce the bill tonight, there will be hearings by senator leahy in judiciary on friday and on monday there will be hearings in committees over the next few weeks. the bill will go on the markup schedule next tuesday, but then you have a week that it's actually ready. in judiciary, anybody can delay it. an open markup, jeff sessions, senator grassley can offer amendments. it will take a couple of weeks in may and hope to have the bill on the floor in late may, early june. the president, one thing he made clear, he wants to have an open process but doesn't want to delay and drag this thing out. wouldn't you say that was one of the most important points he made? >> yes. >> when do you think it will get
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done? >> june. >> we're working hard. >> president obama will travel to boston. you will hear for the next 25 minutes what the president and others had to say. you also hear from vice president joe biden and about five minutes. senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell, and members of the house, including speaker john boehner. president obama spoke this morning saying, among other things, that the bombings were an active terrorists.
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-- an act of terrorists. >> good morning, everybody. i've just been briefed by my national security team, including f.b.i. director muller, attorney general holder, secretary napolitano, and my counterterrorism and homeland security advisor, lisa monaco, on the attacks in boston. we continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens and investigate and to respond to this attack. obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims. their families and the city of boston. explosionst two gravely wounded dozens of americans and took the lives of others, including a 8-year-old boy. this was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know about what took place, the f.b.i.'s investigating it as an act of terrorism. any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. what we don't yet know, however, is who carried out this attack or why, whether it was planned
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and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual. that's what we don't yet know. and clearly we're at the beginning of our investigation. it will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened. but we will find out. we will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. we also know this, the american people refuse to be terrorized. because what the world saw yesterday, in the aftermath of the explosions, were stories of heroism and kindness and generosity and love. exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make turn kits.
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the first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. the men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world. and the medical students who hurried to help saying when we heard, we all came in. the priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful. and the good people of boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it. so if you want to know who we are, what america is, we to evil, that's it. selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. in the coming days we will pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened and we will continue to remain vigilant. i've directed my administration to take appropriate security measures to protect the american people and this is a good time for all of us to remember that
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we all have a part to play in alerting authorities if you see something suspicious. speak up. i have extraordinary confidence in the men and women of the f.b.i., the boston police department and the other agencies that responded so heroically and effectively in the aftermath of yesterday's events. i'm very grateful for the leadership of governor patrick and mayor menino and i know that even as we protect our people and aggressively pursue this investigation, the people of boston will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far. and their fellow americans will be right there with them. thank you very much. and you can expect further briefings from our law enforcement officials as the day goes on. when we have more details, they will be disclosed. what i've indicated to you is what we know now. we know there were bombs that were set off. we know that obviously they did some severe damage.
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we do not know who did them. we did not know whether this was an act of an organization or an individual or individuals. we don't have a sense of motive yet. so, everything else at this point is speculation. but as we receive more information, as the f.b.i. has more information, as our counterterrorism teams have more information, we will make sure to keep you and the american people posted. all right? thank you very much, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> and, you know, all those folks up in boston, who were witnesses of a horrific event that did such damage to you and we do not you loved,
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know all the details yet. i started an early-morning meeting late last night at the time of the event. the only thing i can say for certain after meeting with all of our domestic and foreign we will find folks, out what happened. we will find out who did this. and we will bring them to justice. we also know something about us as americans. we know something about bostonians, that, in the most when wet times, it is stand most closely together. i know it sounds so hollow to
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say to you now. i remember when my mother said, after i lost my wife and daughter, my mother is a gentle, wast old irish lady who compassionate and she said, joey, if you look hard enough, something good will come out of everything bad. out of what happened in boston strong and, believe it or not, you will be stronger. pal. in your bloodstream, it is part of you. there is no way it ever goes away. i got elected to the senate when i was 29 years old. i was often mistaken for a senate staffer. [laughter] literally. i was told numerous times this elevator was reserved for senators.
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oh, for those days. they immediately [laughter] -- [laughter] they immediately knew i was a senator when i opened my mouth. nothing sensible came out. they knew i had to be a senator. [laughter] that goes for congressmen, too. what.rs, guess a different, category. i do not know. [laughter] twice aser here is long as it is on the way back. all of us who serve here have been elected here. it is so trite to say it. you know there is no possibility we can do our jobs -our-
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>> a live look at the u.s. capitol, where, just a short while ago, mitch mcconnell has agreed to vote on the gun- control bill. nine amendments begin tomorrow. our live coverage on c-span2. a letter containing ricin or another poison was sent to the senator of mississippi. the lettersay when was sent. it did test positive for ricin. news reports indicate the facility will be closed for the next two or three days. midday on the senate side of the capital, as those flags were lowered to half mast -- half spoke ontch mcconnell the boston marathon bombing. givour wonderful chaplain
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basically said it all. we are still reeling from the senseless violence at the boston marathon yesterday. we are united and it is simply for the victims of this senseless attack and their families who are suffering today, the victims, having this tragedy on the questions of, who did this and why. the federal bureau of investigation is investigating as aggressively as possible. as the president said last night, the perpetrators will feel the full weight of justice for this terrible crime. >> today, the thoughts of every american are with the people of boston. with the many victims of yesterday's's horrific attacks and their families. many were looking forward to
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celebrating the treatment of a loved one yesterday woke up to the grim reality of facing the rest of their lives with a disfiguring injury. for them, yesterday's attacks were the beginning of a long and difficult journey. up toothers who lined encourage others, including an 8-year-old boy who was there to cheer on his dad at the finish line, lost their lives in the blast. way forin a special these families. the president said yesterday, the two parties stand united today. those afflicted. unshakeable resolve to bring those responsible and any others who are contemplating acts like this to justice. these horrific attacks are a
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grim reminder of the hatred and contempt that many continue to harbor in their hearts, not only for our nation and its freedoms, but for innocent human life. on 9/11, we were ever disabused of the notion that an attack like yesterday it only happened on the field of battle or in distant countries. with the passage of time, and the vigilant efforts of our military intelligence and law enforcement professionals, i think it is safe to say that, for many, the complacency that prevailed prior to september 11 has actually returned. we are newly reminded that serious threats are a way of life and they remain. today, we recommit ourselves to the fight against terrorism at home and abroad. another point.
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as always, we marvel at the courage of those who rushed to the scene after yesterday's's blast. in moments like this, we see the worst of humanity and the best of our fellow citizens. whether it was the exhausted marathoners who became helpers' and healers the moment they realize what had happened, but doctors and nurses who had expected the usual marathon day exhaustion and dehydration, but spent the rest of the day handling far worse, or the first responders who rushed to the scene with total disregard for their own safety, including those who tore down the fence before they were even sure the area was safe. we honor all of them today. those responsible for this act of terror will be brought to
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justice for their deeds. but today, our thoughts remain with the victims, their families, and friends. and all those whose lives have suddenly turned upside down by the wicked designs of those responsible. for most of us, it is hard to imagine how anyone could even contemplate doing something like this. but, as always, as a nation, we face this reality head-on. we show the world america does not cower in the face of it. from thection next other side of the capital, in a few minutes, speaker john boehner and other leaders respond to the boston bombing. xavier becerra. talks about the bombings.
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>> ok. good morning. it is not such a good morning for many people. for many families, not just in boston, when they woke up today, it was a far different day than monday morning. let us begin by sending our thoughts and prayers to the victims and families after the vicious bombing in boston yesterday.
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our thoughts and prayers are extended to each one of them. we expect that our government will do everything possible to protect us. that is the four must duty of any democratically elected government. we will get to the bottom of this. the president will have the support of every member of congress. we will help the first responders and the in boston right now and we'll apprehend who is responsible and exact justice quickly. we had a good conversation on a
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number of subjects including the investigation of the bombing in boston. we discussed budget matters and one piece of legislation that is coming up today, the notion of having security when it comes to the cyberworld and making sure we do everything we can to protect our people and attacks that come through the internet, which can be devastating in many ways. we know there are people that want to hurt this country. we have to be ready. tocannot allow disaster occur that we did not take the time to prepare for. we look forward to having a bill that protects our interest privacy, to civil liberty.
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we cannot move toward a system of government that overrides all those concerns we have as individuals to be protected from an overbearing government. it is a delicate balance. we hope the bill will protect americans and also protect our privacy. yesterday was important for many reasons. yesterday was the deadline for congress to move forward on the budget. we have heard many people on capitol hill. the president and senate democrats on pushing a budget. help us get a budget done. we have yet to see the house majority move forward and name its conferees for a budget conference. we're falling further behind in trying to issue one single budget from the two houses of government. we hope that speaker boehner and a republican majority will move forward in naming conferees who can meet so we can get that done. we are already behind schedule.
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>> i do not think words can express our sorrow. the house offered a moment of silence and the house continues to pray for the victims and the families. we give thanks to those who helped prevent further loss of life. i have ordered flags at the capitol to be flown at half staff. a terrible day for all americans. we carry on in the american spirit. >> good morning. all of us have our prayers with boston this morning. i woke up with a sense of reminder about how we can be so vulnerable that the possibility of tragedy occurring is ever real. renewedp with a
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commitment that we can work together and thank those who came to the rescue of the victims yesterday in boston, also a sense to hold those accountable of this terrorist attack. the boston marathon is all that is good about america. that is the spirit with which all of us want to tackle this latest events that individuals tried to shake america, and we will not let them do it. >> as our country bound together to pray, when you watch that photo of the bombing, we cannot forget the spirit of america. you watch those individuals running to those in need. that spirit is going to unite
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this country. bring them to justice and be able to heal boston and the rest of the country. >> our hearts are heavy today. it is so important that we remember those in boston who of lost their lives, the families that have loved ones that are not going to come home. thatarents of the child was killed and many other lives that have been changed forever.
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to date we show our support and unite in keeping these families in our thoughts and prayers. our resolve is strong. as a country, we will come together. we focus on keeping the american people safe here in congress. >> i know you spoke to the president. what are you asking? >> we want to know who did this and why it was done. we know we are vulnerable. it is talked about just everyday. this is a reminder of how vulnerable we are.
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perpetratedow who this or for what reasons. i'm confident we'll get to the bottom of it. [unintelligible] we can describe it a lot of different ways. ofwas a terrorist attack some sort. there's not enough information at this point in time. >> a lot of folks at the white house work frustrated the lack of information. >> we do not know enough about it. i have no doubts that we will. the president and i had this
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conversation last evening. theconfident we'll get to bottom of this. >> do you feel the fbi has enough tools at their disposal? >> i believe they will have all the resources and technology and tools that they need to get to the bottom of it. thank you, everybody. >> senator john mccain says the boston marathon bombing should have no affect on the passing of the immigration bill. senator charles schumer, who said the goal was to pass this by late may or early june. this is 15 minutes.
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>> well, we had a very good meeting with the president. we briefed him on the details of our immigration reform bill. and while he certainly might not agree with every single part of it, he was very supportive of the bill we had put together. and simply wants to make sure we keep moving it along and get something done. i think everyone realizes, john realizes, i realize, the others in our group of eight and the president realizes, no one is going to get everything they want in a bill. but if we meet in the middle, can do a lot of good for
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and for our economy. and so we're feeling very good about this. things are moving in a very, very good way. and the president's support of our proposal, even though he wouldn't fully agree with it, it's just the right place to be, because we want lots of support even from people who agree with every single part.
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i don't want to give you the impression he is grudging about it. he is enthusiastic about us getting a bill done and as i have said before, playing it just right. moving us forward, but giving us the space to come up with our agreement. and i thanked him and john thanked him for doing that and he is going to continue to do that so we can get a bill done. >> we briefed the president on a number of details, our proposal that the gang of eight is coming up that we will be bringing forward in the united states senate in as short a time as this evening. the president is supportive of the process we went through. the president having been in the senate and having seen this process before is very supportive. the president realizes that everybody didn't get what they wanted completely, but it's a product of compromise. we appreciate the president's
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support, and we believe that that's important as we move forward with the process. the president also agrees that this is the beginning of a process and not the end. we will have hearings, we will have amendments, floor debates. at the end of the day, we will have a bill on the president's desk because all major players that are involved in this issue are now on board, literally every major, whether business or labor and that is a change from the last time we tried this in 2007. questions. >> two more points. we do hope to drop the bill late tonight, and we are working as we speak. and that's very, very important. and one of the things we all agree with is, there ought to be an open process so people who don't agree can offer their amendments. that we in the group and our friends and colleagues sticking together to make sure the core of the bill is kept intact is important. the bigger vote we can get in the senate, the easier it will be to pass it in the house . which are aiming not to pass it with 60 or 61 votes. >> what is the administration's response to the terror attacks and are you concerned that this will delay action on some legislative priorities? connection,ee any to tell you the truth. in fact, if we enacted this legislation, part of our bill is exit and entry-required documentation. it would make it harder for people to enter and leave this country that we don't want in this country. that we would have tamper-proof documents for people who would go to get a job that would create the kind of e-verify system that we would have better tracking who is in our
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country and who isn't. passage of comprehensive immigration will enhance our ability to keep our country secure. >> we delayed for a day not because of any conflict between the two but out of respect for the people of boston and the families who lost loved ones. >> your reaction to the overall response? >> i think that the response in both state, federal and local as well as our f.b.i. involvement is certainly adequate and i hope that they will be able to ascertain who perpetrated this. as far as i can tell, they are doing everything's that is
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needed to be done. >> is there an indication there is a foreign-involved -- >> i do not know. >> what are the sticking points you had to resolve? how difficult was it to resolve them and the 2007 bill fell apart over amnesty and future flow. how is this different? muchrst, we pretty resolved the major issues about a week and a half ago, i guess this past friday, agriculture finally came together and that was the last major sticking point. obviously when business and labor got on the phone good friday evening and agreed on a piece of paper that we had sent them, that was a big major change, too. the answers to both of the questions that we have business and labor on board.
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that was not true in 2007. in fact, labor was actively trying to scuttle the bill. and john, correct me if i'm wrong, not only are business and labor on board and form and farmworkers are board, high tech is on board. the religious community, liberal and conservative is on board, so we have a lot of broad support that was not there in 2007. the other sticking point is amnesty. if you have to go to the back -- first if you have to register, go to the back of the line, learn english, work, stay clear of the law, admit wrongdoing and pay a significant fine, that's not amnesty in anyone's except those people who would be opposed to any immigration bill. >> let me add to that if i could. the attitude of the american people has changed since 2007. that's in poll after poll. as long there are requirements that senator schumer just outlined and overwhelming majority of americans are willing to give these people who are in this country illegally, some of them many years, the path to citizenship and i remind you 40% of the people who are here illegally overstayed their visas and not because they came across our
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border. border enforcement provisions and as senator schumer articulated, back of the line. most americans support this proposals far more than did in 2007. \[inaudible] >> yeah. and frankly elections have had an impact as well. but i would say this, both the senate and the american people are at one with this. they will be -- they will support. the senate and the american people will support commonsense, balanced solution and the 11 million who are here illegally, provided that they have assurance that we will not have future waves of illegal immigration. john has made that a watch word as we have moved this bill through. and we believe those provisions are very important. the president didn't believe in a trigger, but we did. we created a trigger that is achievable and specific so it can't be used as an excuse not
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to provide the path to citizenship. >> in 2007 once the bill was
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introduced was when you started to get the wave of talk radio critics and the town hall meetings that i know senator mccain remembers well, so, there is already some chatter -- is there any reason to believe that that same din milk >> thanks to the effort of a lot of us, but especially marco rubio, there has been an outreach to many of the talk show hosts, many of those who were opposed in the past and called it amnesty. we have been able to make an argument that many of those people who opposed it in the past, one, it's not amnesty, and two, we will have a secure border and won't have a third wave of people who come to this country illegally. that was a great concern in the past. and finally, we are able to convince fem it is good for the american economy. >> [inaudible] >> can the american people
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accept half a million people a year? >> we are taking in people when there is not a job available to americans. that's one of the underlying premises of our bill. we are desperately short of engineers, doctors. at the same time, americans don't do farm work. and if we don't have some imported labor for farm work, we won't grow crops and our people will have to import food, is not a very good idea. it's not the number, but the way we have done it that's very important. we have been pretty tough on provisions where americans will do the job. i would just say in my corner in the world, i rode my bike and see constituents and some guy will say, we will give you eight bucks an hour. that lowers the cost of labor but americans would do that. and they will get the opportunity.
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you put it all together and i think it's a fair bill. here is our basic premise is this. first, the system is broken. we turn away people who create jobs in america and we allow to cross over the border people take jobs away from americans and second as i said, strongly that balanced andl be support commonsense solutions to
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11 millionre here, who are here illegally and future immigration as long as they are sure there won't be a third wave of immigration. those are the two guiding premises that have undergirarded our bill. >> you asked about number of workers. over half of the individuals who will graduate from our major institutions with technical degrees this year are not americans. we want them to have an opportunity to stay in america if they want to. second of all, most important part of this legislation is verification, e-verify that the employer will not be able to hire someone who is in this country illegally. as long as people will do that, that is go to be the magnet. even if you get into this country that there is not going to be a job there, that is what drives up the flow. >> you mentioned that the president didn't agree with everything. >> we didn't get into the specific details. we know he doesn't agree with the trigger. we felt it was very important -- first we think it's the right thing to do and second we think you aren't going to pass a bill in the senate or house or with the approval of the american people if they are not assured that there isn't going to be another wave of illegal immigration. people dornt want to keep doing this over and over again. >> you want to be on the campaign trail talking about that? >> we'll talk about that. >> timetable, i didn't do that. >> the timetable, we hope to have two hearings and introduce the bill tonight, there will be hearings by senator leahy in
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judiciary on friday and on monday there will be hearings in committees over the next few weeks. the bill will go on the markup schedule next tuesday, but then you have a week that it's actually ready. in judiciary, anybody can delay it. an open markup, jeff sessions, senator grassley can offer amendments. it will take a couple of weeks in may and hope to have the bill on the floor in late may, early june. the president, one thing he made clear, he wants to have an open process but doesn't want to delay and drag this thing out. wouldn't you say that was one of the most important points he made? >> yes.
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>> when do you think it will get done? >> june. >> we're working hard. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] funeral for former prime minister margaret thatcher as tomorrow. invited guests include all of the surviving former british prime ministers and u.s. presidents. clinton, and a representative of the reagan family. it is the first time the queen will attend the funeral since winston choose -- church hill -- winston churchill. 2.ve coverage on c-span >> the at 35 is the most
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expenses weston -- weapon in history. it is an advanced warplane, a fighter jet, that is to be used by the air force, the navy, and marine corps. advanced, our new, all-purpose fighter jet. it was a plane that was supposed to be in disguise. it is still in development. has gonerogram that tens of billions of dollars over budget. asorrowed into this program a way to write about the overall challenges of the defense budget. this program is singular in terms of its costs and the way it has been structured. attribute maytive
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not be all the radars and sensors and missiles and stealth technology and supersonic speeds. it may well be the way it has been designed to avoid budget cutters in washington. on c-e sunday at 8:00 span's "q&a." >> in a few moments, the commander of u.s. and international forces in afghanistan testifies on capitol hill. in about two and a half hours, a news conference on the investigation of the treatment of detained suspected terrorists. after that, a hearing on the federal -- the president house budget request. filmmaker ken burns his latest project. the commander of u.s. and international forces in afghanistan says he needs to see how afghan forces perform before
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making any recommendations on the future of foreign troop levels. and general joseph dunn furred was before the committee -- dunford was before the committee for two and half hours. -- two and a half hours.
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>> all set? good morning, everybody. before we begin, i want to take a moment to reflect on the tragedy in boston. thousands of people gathered there yesterday, excepting the physical and mental challenge of running a marathon. the city celebrated its annual patriot's day holiday, and -- in a lot --f in remembrance of boston's role in our nation's founding. whatever their twisted motives,
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they will fail. aerica has demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout its history and a firm determination to bring justice to those who target the innocent. the perpetrators of this attack will feel the full weight of that justice. every member of this committee and congress and all of our people mourn the tragic loss of life. our prayers go out to the victims and families and we hope for the swift recovery of those who were injured. this morning, the committee hears and welcomes the general joseph -- hears from and welcomes general joseph dunford, commander of the international security assistance staff in afghanistan, and commander of u.s. forces in afghanistan. this is general dunford's first
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appearance before this committee since taking command of the u.s. coalition forces in early february. difficult forn be us and the american people to get the full picture of how things are progressing in afghanistan, as negative stories get front-page coverage while good news may not be covered at all. based on my visits to afghanistan, most recently in january, it strikes me there are real signs of progress. the nato training mission has made significant strides in building the afghan security force to its target level of 352,000 personnel. afghan forces are already some ponce -- responsible for security in areas where 90% of afghans live, and by later this spring, they are expected to take the security leak throughout all of afghanistan with coalition forces shifting to a supporting role.
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when senator jack reed and i have visited in january, we were told in other -- in under two years, the forces had gone from conducting less than 30% of operations in that region, totally and the rhone, without coalition forces present, to about 80% now. there are other signs of progress, as well. , roughly 1000rule afghan children were at school and girls were denied education. now, more than 8 million students attend at against -- afghan schools and 40% are females. -- afghanistan had 20 teachers, all male. today, 200,000 teachers, including 60,000 women.
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the number of schools in afghanistan has grown from 3400 in 2001 to more than 16,000 today. more than 18 million afghans now have telephone access, compared to about 1 million in 2002. earlier this year, president obama announced plans for drawing down 34,000 of the 66,000 u.s. troops in 2014.istan by february of this has been interpreted as meaning the bulk of the forthcoming u.s. troop reductions will be put off until the end of this year. for several reasons, it would be better to stick with the steady pace approach the president at one point said he contemplated for those. it would drive home to afghans and the taliban the success of the afghan security forces whose
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performance our commanders tell us have exceeded expectations. maintaining a steady pace of reductions would also send an important message to president karzai. the afghan president's use of anti coalition rhetoric, while serving some domestic political purpose, shows an insensitivity to the sacrifices made by our troops over the last decade and of aes a chill on the idea long-term partnership. it is in every one's interest to promptly set the conditions for any post-2014 partnership with afghanistan. nato defense ministers have already begun consideration of the size and mission for a post-2014 force in afghanistan. one factor that will influence that decision is the size and capacity of the afghan security forces. in this regard, the recent
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decision by nato defense ministers to support maintaining the afghan security forces at the current 352,000 than through 2018, rather reducing the support to a level of 230,000, as previously planned, is the right thing to do. it sends an important signal of our continued commitment to a safe and secure afghanistan and make it feasible for us to have a smaller u.s. and coalition presence after 2014. the greatest challenge to afghanistan's security is not the taliban, but the pakistan- based sanctuaries for militant extremists, launching cross border attacks into afghanistan. it supports aaid stable and secure afghanistan.
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but its actions belie its words. the u.s.-pakistan relationship will not be normalized so long as those extremists safe havens exist on pakistani territory. another large challenge to a stable afghanistan is the continuing shortcomings of the afghan government in meeting the needs of the afghan people and its lack of a willingness to fight corruption by government officials. general, you have already demonstrated that you are carrying on the tradition of a highly distinguished group of u.s. commanders in afghanistan. you are right in that tradition. you are carrying it forward. we look forward to your helping us understand how far the afghans and the coalition have come and what remains to be done. >> thank you.
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ushink i and all the rest of up here identify with your comments about the tragedy yesterday. it is very hard to believe that happened. also, i thank you for commenting about it because very few people would do it. the women going to school and voting and doing all these good things that are happening, we do not hear that often enough. as we discussed in my office last week, i have been to afghanistan several times over the past decade and am greatly concerned we will repeat the mistakes of iraq and squander the enormous sacrifice of american lives. in iraq, the obama administration's decision to withdraw u.s. troops in 2011 has resulted in the research of al qaeda, increasing the violence
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and growing caribbean influence. the picture of iraq looks increasingly violent. in afghanistan, president obama is making the same mistakes based on arbitrary time lines and without a finding the underlining the objectives strategy and mission. in my office last week, we discussed the need to have capability to support the afghan security forces and .ounter-terrorism efforts about ourg decisions mission, the president should listen more to the professional military commanders on the front lines and less to the political advisers in the west wing. this committee was told he recommends possibly 20,000
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troops remain in afghanistan after 2014. that would be about 13,600 u.s. troops, about half that many international forces. our commander tells us the mission should be to continue counter-terrorism efforts and train and it finds afghan security forces. missions across the whole afghanistan, 8000 to 12,000 troops is an unreasonable target. the fact that this administration has in zero trips is irresponsible. only 10,000 will barely be able to protect itself and will likely result in feeding the whicho iranian authority, is a scary thought. and the city in the north to drug traffickers and warlords. in my trips to afghanistan, i
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have seen the progress improve, the increased ability of the afghan forces to lead security operations gives me hope, but it also makes clear the job of training is far from complete. afghan security forces sustained in 2014 needs security systems and the ground. to be successful, you have got to be able to maintain both security and the confidence of the afghan people. a number of afghan forces are needed in a post 2014 environment. in my previous discussions with general allan, it is obvious the right level is closer to the 352,0020.
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that the 2013 and 2014 fighting seasons are critical to setting conditions for success and i worry that inadequate funding will erode the fighting capability of our troops on the front line. president's budget proposal last week has to address the unprecedented resource challenges facing our military and will hurt the readiness of our military. to preserve our place, the navy is tying up carrier strike groups. the air force is surrounding aircraft. the effect of this deteriorating readiness will be felt by the fighting forces in 2014, by the men and women we sent into combat next year. the president's must get serious about working with the congress on a lasting solution to the
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challenges facing our military. the troops fighting for this nation deserve nothing less. i think you very much -- i thank you very much. >> thank you. welcome. >> good morning distinguished members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to represent the men and women of the u.s. forces of the afghanistan. thanks to your leadership and support, they are well-trained and well-equipped. their extraordinary courage and performance reflects that report. u.s. forces in afghanistan remains focused on denying safe haven in afghanistan to the al qaeda terrorists who attacked our nation on 9/11, and denying the taliban who harbored them to -- the ability to overthrow the government. we recognize we are served by a secure and stable afghanistan at peace with its neighbors. morning before you this
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confident in the direction of the campaign. my confidence is based on the real progress we have made since late 2009. that surge allowed us to move the campaign for. the constant pressure we have exerted on the remnants of up to -- of al qaeda and afghanistan has obstructed the ability to plan operations against the west. our operations have pushed the taliban away from populated areas and prevented them from meeting campaign objectives in 2012. while they remain resilient, they are less of a threat to the afghan government than they were in 2011. most significantly, our efforts since 2009 provided the afghan forces the time and space necessary to grow and assumed the lead. have screwed it -- recruited and fielded most of 3 inch thick to 2000. approximately 80% of all operations conducted, they have the lead security responsibility
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for territory for nearly 90% of the population lives. later this spring, in line with the plan outlined at the chicago summits, the operations across the nation. the hearing truly comes at a reflection point in the afghan campaign. there are many reasons to be optimistic. that said, there are several significant challenges we must overcome to meet our objectives. up to this point, we were focused on growing the size of the afghan national security forces. we are now focused on supporting the quality. we will continue to focus on a wide range of issues to include leadership development, capacity, aviation, and institutions needed to sustain a modern force. in the coming months, we will have to address political and psychological factors that will affect the outcome of the campaign. we are at a point in the
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campaign where there is real tension between increasing aspirations of afghan sovereignty and the reality of operations conducted in accordance with the u.s. ecurity council properly managing that tension is now a campaign imperative. the spokal aspect of the campaign is equally important right now. psychology will affect the critical election of 2014. we confront growing concerns in afghanistan and the region. many have said they no longer fear the taliban as much as what will happen after 2014. there is a growing sense that december 2014 is a cliff for the afghan people. that dynamic must be addressed with a credible, compelling narrative of u.s. commitment. absent confidence in the hope for a brighter future, afghan
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people and regional actors will continue to hedge and plan for the worst case. the behavior associated with that mindset has the real potential to undermine the campaign. in closing, there is a great deal to be optimistic about at this point but we are tpwha decisive change of transition. there will continue be -- to be challenges that will test our will and endurance. in the end, if we define winning as completing political and security transition while rendering the taliban relatively ineffective. if we allow afghans to exploit the decade of opportunity that will begin in 2015, ethoroughly believe we can win. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, again general, and we'll follow the eight-minute rule this morning. general, i made reference to
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the media characterization of events in afghanistan, recent news reports have described a number of high-profile taliban attacks that suggest a declining security situation in afghanistan, a taliban attack fara ostage standoff in province was said to "highlight the crumbling security situation and the deteriorating security situation in that western province." a taliban assault in a row mote outpost in eastern afghanistan was said to be a "serious blow" to one of the afghan unit's most elite units. the tragic deaths of a u.s. civil van tv civilian advisors and five other americans in southern afghanistan was said to highlight the "escalating violence associated with the taliban's attempt to regain
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momentum. could you tell us whether in your view those articles with those characterizations taken together provide an accurate impression of the security situation in afghanistan? >> chairman, in the aggregate those incidents remind us that we are still at war and there is still violence? afghanistan. having said that it's important to note that 80% of the violence currently occurs where 20% of the population lives. by and large the population in afghanistan has been free from violence, the taliban, the enemy, have been pushed away from the populated areas. each of those incidents was a separate incidents. in farah, we know that the enemy is relying on high-profile attacks, i.e.d.'s and assassination attempts in order to achieve their effect because they were unable to influence the population that they were the short time ago.
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the other was a breakdown in leadership. had nothing to do with the afghan security forces in thing a gate. i was impressed that the afghan lim took immediate action against the lim responsible for that particular incident. what we see is increasingly afghan security forces and the lim there being held accountable when they fail to appropriately perform their duties. in this case that's what happened. in regard to the tragic loss of life of the plea of our state department, that is what the emy attempts to do nord to lower our will. t that does not accurately reflect the level of violence. not only has the violence been reduced in the populated areas but that security is currently being provided by afghan
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security forces largely and not coalition forces. >> thank you. do you support maintaining the afghan security forces at the higher level of 352,000 rather than reducing those to 230,000. >> i do support extending the 352,000. that decision has not been made and it's conditional on afghan negotiations related to the bilateral security agreement and our continued presence in after -- afghanistan. that mitigates risk during the period of transition and during what we project to be a period of economic downturn. >> do you support the president's decision to drawdown 44,000 of the 3 0,000 u.s. troops from afghanistan by february of 2014? >> chairman, i do support that. what's critical oar the drawdown this year is it allows
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us to stay engaged with the afghan security forces during their first summer in the lead. and we have the flexibility to allow us to stay engaged with our train and assist level at the appropriate level this summer. >> there was an article in yesterday's "new york times" about the threats that are faced by many afghans that spent the last 11 years or part of the last 11 years helping us in afghanistan by interpreting so that we could proceed more effectively in afghan. these interpreters are supposed to be protected by a visa program, which i remember vividly that senator kennedy and many of us worked very hard to achieve. are you -- can you personally take whatever steps you're able to take to make sure that those visas are provided as
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contemplated by law? >> chairman, i will. we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the interpreters that have supported us over the last 11 years. it's fair to say we could not have accomplished the mission without them. i fully support them. we're ashoring that hair applications make it through the u.s. baffour and come back here to washington, d.c. we're personally tracking those on an individual basis in many cases to make sure those interpreters who most deserve to come to our country can but i absolutely support that. >> would you take stems beyond what you've done to tell them that it's really important to our security that those visas be forthcoming? >> i will do that. >> we will also be writing a letter to the state department relative to that matter. terms of our relations with president karzai, did we recently work out an agreement
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with president karzai in a province where he said that our special ops forces would have to leave within two weeks? did we get that straightened out so that we worked out an acceptable mutual agreement? >> chairman, we did. that was the wardac prosexrins in february president karzai directed that all u.s. special forces be removed from the province. that was as a result of allegations that proved to be unsubstantiated. at the time i let the president know that that would be unacceptable both from a forms protection perspective and from our ability to accomplish our on thives. he afforded us the ability to come up with a transition plan. since that time we have removed u.s. special forces from one district inside of that
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district to nine districts in the the province. we awere replaced them with effective afghan security forces. what i told president karzai when that was over, that turned out to be a model for transition. we had broad guidance in president karzai. we worked with the ministers. this particular incident worked out from my perspective. we have an effective solution. >> i might note that president karzai made a statement. it got huge publicity but when the resolution was achieved by you and the afghans it got very little publicity. i'm afraid that's too typical of what the media situation is here. my final question is on pakistan. you met with the chief of kistani's army staff with -- also with afghan military
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leaders, i believe. a tri lateral meeting. can you tell us what your assessment is of pakistan's current role? whether they've in any way changed their behavior in terms of ending the safe havens that exist in pakistan that have been used to attack our forces, afghan forces? >> at this point i can only tell you that the rhetoric from pakistan has changed. the general has pledged cooperation. we have seen increased levels of cooperation since the fall. we did sign a try lateral tripartheid border agreement in november. we have conducted an exchange of officers. have a pakistani liaison officer in my office. e have several officers to deconflict issues. we have increased commune --
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communication and the general has said we will meet on a monthly basis individually. so the rhetoric and the degree of our engagement has increased, chairman. still obviously concerned with the results and i think there's still some time to see before we can make a judgment on that. >> if you give us an update by the end of may as to whether the rhetoric has been followed by any change in action? could you send us a report by the end of may? >> i will do that, chairman. and just so you know, president karzai, i proposed and he approved two weeks ago to have the general from pakistan and the senior lim come to kabul and attend a meeting hosted by us and the chief of the general staff from afghanistan. this is a significant step forward and i'll be able to report on that in may. >> thank you.
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general inhofe? >> thank you, chairman. as i told you in my office, general dunford, it's hard for me to believe that it's been 10 years since we started our active training of the a.n.a. this began with the oklahoma brigade.ntry their first duty and i spent quite a bit of time over there at that time. and then later on at the kabul military training center. it's so incredible. it's almost like you're looking at port sill and the resources they have and who's taken over. on any given day there might be 10,000 afghan tran knees crawling through the mud and busting through doors. that facility is now 20,000 acres, my think. with the changes that we're talking about in this hearing today, is that going to
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negatively impact this real success -- i think the chairman here talked about the great successes we've had over there and i agree with that. but one of the successes is in that training capability and in that particular center. you spent a lot of time there, i'm sure. is that going to suffer at all with the changes we're looking at thousand? >> senator, what's important, and i think you alluded to the post-2014 presence. what's important is a couple of factors. one is geography. i believe we need to be in the four corners of the country. it's important after 2014 that we continue to be at their regional training centers. the other is the level as which we advice and assist the afghan forces this. summer as we go into the their first summer in the lead, they'll be advised and assisted. as we get to the fall we'll
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lift off to the bridged level in post-2014, current planning would be either at the bridged or the corps level. that decision hasn't been made yet. what you pointed out is critical and that is that we maintain a robust train, advise and assist level at the training center level. at the institutional training center in kabul as well the four corners at the regional training centers. it's important that our presence be sufficient to address that function that you referred to. >> i've heard about some of the changes that perhaps we're going to make going into the regional level. but that facility is so impressive, i want to make sure we're going to continue it at the level it is now and the number of people that are going through. to sustain the numbers we've talked about so far it's going to be necessary to do that. and i'm sure you are equally
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impressed with the successes we've had at that kabul military training center. with the elections coming up, hen you look at it, it's their constitution that causes karzai to have to drop out and we know that many areas of the world where they have a constitutional prohibition that -- d require people to stop uganda comes to mind. has there been any talk of any kind of an effort on his behalf to be able to remain there? i understand there's not but i just wanted to get that into this record. >> senator, there's not been any public discussion about that. in several meetings that i've attended, with the ambassador with president karzai, with secretary kerry and hagel. on each occasion president karzai has impressed his intent
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to stand down in april 2014. i also attended his address to parliament a month ago where he announced there that he also intended to step down on the fifth of april of 2014. >> i understand that. is there any talk about who might succeed him? >> senator, there's a tremendous amount of political activity ongoing in afghanistan right now but it would be difficult for me to select a favorite at this point. >> there's kind of a history that when rogues are on their way out they clean up their act. if have you seen a more positive karzai than we've seen in the past? >> general, over the past two months we've worked through very difficult issues, president karzai and i and we've come in each case to an effective solution, so the relationship i've had on the ground over the last two months has been cooperative. >> i understand that when the change take place that our i.s.r. activity is going to be
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dramatically reduced. is that really necessary or do we have the resources to sustain it and should we do that? >> my perspective is i will ed a sustained i.s.r. effort post-2014. in fact, there is not a direct rhythm between the numbers of forces on the ground and the i.s.r. we can't reduce i.s.r. commensurate with the time we reduce forces. i.s.r. becomes then as important or more important. >> that was our thinking. they've had several things in he media that would reduce proportionately. you make a very good point. that would be better to increase. i think you talked about, and the chairman mentioned -- asked the question, you answered the question about the 352 versus
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the 330,000. and i agree with you. is your feeling agreed with by general matusz and all your other counterparts? >> yes, senator but collectively we also agree that our support for 352, for any additional support for the afghan security forces post-2014 ought to be conditional based on afghan behavior. hat's part of our calculus but we believe our interests will be best served by extending the 352 through 2018. >> thank you, a.? >> thank you very much, senator. senator reid? >> thank you very much, general and thank you for your service and i want to associate myself about the chairman remarks on the force. it's a new england tradition and something that rhode island has participated in and obviously our sympathy goes out
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to the victims and also our respect for the first responders and everyone who helped out. and i-know you have a connection too, general. your father is a police officer there. thank you for that service too. you talked about, in your opening comments, what success might look like winning. can you elaborate on that? >> i can. for the last few years many people have shied away from using the word "win." i personally have used that word since aliving in afghanistan. my predecessor used that word. i think when we talk to 18, 19, 20-year-old soldiers we ought to talk in those terms. from my perspective winning is achievable. first of all the transition to ghan security forces lead in affecting transition in 2014 is important in terms of winning and i think we have a plan in place to do that and we can see
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where the afghans can successfully assume responsibility for security in 2014. another critical component of our winning would be supporting the political process that would lead to inclusive fair and free election in 2014. again, i think that's very achievable. and of course, remembering why we went there in the first place, to ensure that we deny sanctuary to al qaeda in afghanistan and we contribute to regional stability where we have national interests. there are sub components. continuing to sustain the afghan security forces post 2014. but if we affect security transition, affect political transition and deny al qaeda sanctuary, i believe at the end of 2014 as we transition missions and change authorities, we can look at the
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families and soldiers in the marines that have served over the last 2 -- 11 years and say we won because we provided the afghans to size the -- seize the decade of opportunity that starts in 2015 and it is very much up to the afghans to seize the opportunity that we provided them. >> thank you. let's focus on the afghan national security forces and a comment that the chairman made -- often their successes are -- as their lapse. you were on the ground. the chairman and i were on the ground in january. recently we heard operations in he province, the 203rd corps successfully operating. seems to me the first measure securing g -- population centers but then
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control over the entire country. n you give us your assessments right now and maybe some successes not notesed by the press? >> sure, i can. and like many members of the committee i've had many visits to afghanistan over the years. i remember one visit in 2008 and at that time the ratio of afghans to coalition partners, we had 10 united states marines who every afghan that was in the hellman province as recently at 2008. the ratio now across the country is there are three afghans for every member of the coalition that is serving right now and we've stalk -- talked about the percentage of operations and population they secure. most impressive is they're conducting independent combined arms operations at the bridged and corps level. that's with a minial amount of advise and assist by coalition forces.
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even as someone who is a glass half full individual i could not have foreseen that in 2008 and i think the progress we've made in 2009 is nothing short of profound in terms of where they are on a day-to-day basis. when we go to milestone 2013 this summer, and we talked about the transition. we're going to have inside of formations of six or seven afghans, we'll have 16 or 17 members of the occasion coalition in an advise and assist role. we'll have thousands of afghans in each one of the provinces in afghan. we'll have some few hundred members of the co-ligse providing advise and assist at that level. so when we talk about what the afghans are doing right now and we talk about the security environment, although we formally go to transition at milestone 2013 later this spring and early summer, in fact, on the ground today we're at that point already, where
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the afghans have taken the lead, are providing security for the afghan people and every day they improve a little bit. i would caveat by saying this progress from 2009 till today is largely quantity. at the battalion and bridged level they're effective. but we still have challenges to ensure that at the institutional level, planning, budgeting, those tasks are still work that remains. but all that addresses the quality of the force and their ility to take the fight at a day-to-day basis is ream. >> and the fighting already under way because of the weather conditions, the afghan security forces are planning aggressive operations going forth this summer 134 >> sir, they have cucked the planning for operations this summer. this has been an afghan-led process. i attended the campaign
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synchronization process six or seven weeks ago as a guest. it was led by the national security advisor, minister of defense and interior. they outlined their afghan plan for the summer of 2013. each one of the commanders stepped up and breached their plan and over the course of eight or nine hours they integrated their planning effort through the summer of 2013. e're seeing an afghan-led, afghan-executed security plan in the summer of 2013. >> the afghan local police have been a component. and as we visited in january, touted by our military commanders on the ground as a real turning point because it combines not just the military but also a village, a local, a government capacity connection. can you comment on the future of the l.p.? >> that has been a very
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successful program. number one, the individuals in the a.l.p. are closely vetted in conjunction with local lim. umber two, it is part of the local afghan architecture. in terms of hold and build in counterinsurgency. it's proven to be the most effective hold force. and my assessment is less relevant than the assessment of the taliban. the most feared organize out there right now is the afghan local police because the taliban realize they cannot make inroads there. it's the partnership between he organizations that much made this so effective. we've learned a lot about proper chain of command and ensuring that this oversight are fully plugged into, again, the minister of interior and we
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are implemented layerered security in each one of the provinces. >> thank you very much, sir. thank you for your service. >> thank you very much senator reid. senator mccain? >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome back, general. and first of all, in your written statement you have a "what winning looks like," and you have four bullet points. one says "an operationally ineffective al qaeda deprived of a safe haven from which to plan and conduct operations outside the area." have you seen any change there? >> over the years i have, senator. >> i they don't have a safe haven anymore in pakistan? >> they have a same haven inside of afghanistan in some areas, we're disrupting them but they have a sanctuary in pakistan. >> have you seen any progress there, the safe haven in
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pakistan? >> the progressive seen inside of afghanistan first -- >> my question is pakistan. >> they have not been able to conduct effective operations nor plan operations from pakistan. >> they don't have a safe haven in pakistan? >> they are still physically there. they are not able to plan and conduct operations from there at this point. >> well, that's very interesting news. today in the press clip, it says reduction of opium by afghans is up again. according to the united states - united nations counter narcotics official, afghanistan is already the world's largest producer of opium and last year accounted for 74% of the world's opium supply is that of concern to you? >> it is of concern. it's a destabilizing effect. it breeds a criminal element and supports the taliban. >> i thought one of our objectives back in 2001 was to
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eliminate opium as a crop of nterest -- a crop that would be so very important when now apparently, according to this news report, it might provide 75% to 90% of the world's supply. >> senator, in that area, our success has not been satisfactory. >> as we watch the situation unravel in iraq because of our failure, among other things, but primarily because of our failure to leave a residual force there, we continue to hear mixed reports about the size of the force that would be left behind. the chairman of the joint chiefs, general dempsey, recently testified that a combined nato force between 8,000 and 12,000 would be "a reasonable target."
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general matusz testified before this committee reflecting the opinion of your predecessor was to keep 13,600 u.s. troops in afghanistan with several thousand additional nato forces on top of that. what's your view, general? what is your number? >> senator, i'm going to not give you a number. i'm going to give awe range. my best military advice at this point is that we leave it at a range of numbers. number one, i think we need to see to you afghans do in their and summer in the lead then make an assessment. we need to see how successful it is in 2014 and the strategic landscape which addresses the strength of the enemy, al qaeda, as well as the cooperation of regional actors. >> so you have no number to tell this committee right now?
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>> senator, i have not provided by -- my number to the president yet. we're still in the process of crafting that. but my strongest military advice is not to pin down a number right now -- >> don't understand, general, that one of the reasons why we're having so much difficulty in some areas is because the afghans don't know what our commitment is? they saw what happened in iraq where we had a commitment? don't you know they want to know sooner or later what the american commitment is post 2014? don't you understand how important that is to them? that's what they tell me. >> senator, i do. the most important mission of our commitment is the signing of the bilateral plan. i've spoken to my afghan counterparts. i don't believe a specific number is anywhere near as important as an assured commitment in the context of b.s.a. and knowing that we'll provide a level of advice and
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assist necessary for 2014. >> i can't tell you how disappointed i am in your testimony. they see what happened in iraq. they see us withdrawing every place in the world. they see what's happening in syria. they see a lack of commitment by the united states, for example, in libya, post gaddafi. for you to tell this committee that well, we'll make that decision later on. they are making accommodation for the united states' departure right now and that's one of the reasons why they're -- we're seeing a lot of the difficulties that we're seeing. i strongly urge you to do what general matusz did and that is to give us an estimate. the general didn't voice all the concerns and caveats that you just articulated. we know that the afghans wants
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to know what the size of our commitment is and what the size of the army that we will support is crystal for their planning in the future. -- critical for their planning in the future. so i strongly urge you to come up with a number to tell this committee and the american people. we have a responsibility as well. for you to say well, we're just going to see how things turn out. it will term determine the size of the 2014 force i believe is a farajic and terrible -- tragic and terrible mistake. >> senator, can i comment on that? >> sure. >> to be clear, i didn't say leave it completely vague. we are today advising and assisting at the battalion level. the number post-2014 is inextricably linked to the level we need we need to provide -- >> you have to wait until 2014 to determine that? >> we do no. what i suggested was this is
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the afghans' first summer in the league. i believe this summer will be the bellwether for afghan performance into 2014 and beyond. >> general, senator graham and us, we talk to the afghans all the time. they are not sure of what the united states' commitment will be and many of them are making various accommodations for a repeat of what happened in iraq and that's why we got a specific number from general matusz but we somehow can't get that from you. it's very disappointing. i have no more questions, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator udall is not here. senator donnelly? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, in regards to the bilateral security agreement, how does that stand and what are the expectations on that? >> senator, the negotiations
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for the bilateral security agreement are ongoing. the next meeting between the afghans and the united states is in the month of may. i think we're down to several issues that have to be addressed inside the negotiations bit. -- my sense is that the afghan people as a whole want the bilateral security agreement but there are some difficult issues being negotiated at this time. >> is there an understanding on the afghan side that if we do not conclude a sofa it is very difficult to leave our men and women there. , it is clear to the afghans we will not leave our men and women there without an agreement. >> what timetable are you looking at to conclude that? >> initially that was identified as being signed no later than november of 2013. from my perspective as soon as -- as soon as we could sign it would be helpful.
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it would address what senator mccain spoke about, an environments of uncertainty. i believe a commitment on that would be helpful in addressing uncertainty. >> how much control does pakistan have over the afghan taliban? >> i don't believe the pakistanis have control over the afghan taliban. i do think that the afghan taliban have sanctuary inside of pakistan and they get support from individuals in pakistan but i don't believe anybody controls them. >> do you think the i.s.i. is working with them? >> there have been intelligence reports that link the i.s.a. -- i.s.i. particularly to the network. >> what control does the pakistan army have over the i.s.i. in your opinion? >> senator, i don't know. think normally, they work for
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general cian inches, a former director of the i.s.i. my sense is anything the i.s.i. does is known by him but i can't confirm that. >> where do you see the primary source for the afghan taliban for the financial resources they receive, the military resource. where do you see that coming? >> a percentage of it comes from the drug trailed. some probably 35 or 40%. some money comes from illicit taxes from afghan people and some money comes from external support from outside the region. >> when you look at the places that they go in pakistan, the frontier areas, double pakistan, number one, has control over those areas and number two, can control over those areas? >> senator, pakistan does not have control over those areas
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right now. they have had over 15,000 killed and wounded in operations in that area over the past decade. they've had hundreds killed and wounded in the past kefrl weeks that is -- as they've tried to gain control in the khyber area. i think that's a clear indication they cannot control the border area and the taliban that are operating freely inside of that border area. >> what do you see as a rule for the taliban, if any, in the future afghan government as we transition out, as discussions are taking place. how do you envision that future afghan government? obviously there are elections coming up but how are we looking at the transition for the afghan government? >> the state department has the lead now on working on a reconciliation proand he is -- process and trying to bring
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together the afghan government as well as the taliban. i don't have any insight right now that would believe me to be the taliban will be part of the political process in 2014. at some point there will have be some political son sessions -- concessions made. >> obviously there were different parts of afghanistan that react in a different way. but when the provinyl leaders and the people in the towns are making their decisions, looking at post-2014. what are do you think are the most important things they're looking for from the current afghan government, from the army to provide them with some certainty that come the next night the taliban are not going to come back and cause havoc and turn their world upside
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down? >> in addition to being secure and not having those illicit taxes collected and not having the kind of oppression associated with the taliban in the 1990's, one of the major concerns that young afghans have is johnson. 65% of the population is 25 years or less. in addition to security and a stable environment and free from the oppression of the taliban, they're also very concerned about the economy post 2014 and their ant to seek proper employment. the chairman has outlined that we have eight million that are in school today. the issue is that we raised expectations and those expectations will have to be met with an economy that will support adequate jobs. >> as we look towards the end of 2014 is there a detailed transition plan with the state partment and with us -- u.s. a.i.d. for many of the projects
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that much begun and many that are on the books, where do those projects go as we look forward? >> senator, it is a very detailed transition process. we established a headquarters joust to oversee transition. we're completely overlinked with the a.i.d. and u.s. state department. not only do we have a broad transition plan from every task and we've taken that down to a handful of tasks that still remain to be worked out but every project that's out there right now will have a detailed transition plan as well. >> you mentioned before about security zones in the country, areas that are safer than others. as you look forward to the next year and into 2014, what are the things that you're most concerned about that could go wrong? >> we're going to transition
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the final tranche of areas over to the afghans here this summer. that final tranche is on the eastern part of the country along the borders. that's where the most vir lent strains of the insurgency are and the most difficult challenges from a security perspective are. as we deal with tranche five that will be difficult. my major concern is making sure that by the fall of 2013 we're creating the perception that's supporting the political transition that will begin in ernest. we'll have candidates in 2013. ensuring that wee -- we provide security in the areas of what are now some 7,000 polling stayings is a primary focus we have in conjunction if our afghan counterparts. >> that whole southeastern region -- eastern region, are there metrics that you look at and go we've accomplished this by now, we're at this point?
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do you have like a game plan of by the end of 2013 here's where we hope to be in those provins? >> we do. we're in the process of a geographical and functional gap analysis. we want to affect a concept known as layered security. that's successful when you have everything from the afghan local police to the uniformed police to the border police and national army working together coordinated and independent with advisors, so our metrics are very much based on the performance of the afghan national security forces and their ability with limbed support to provide security in each of the provinces. but the most difficult provinces will be those in the east. >> general, thank you for your service. >> thank you, senator. senator sessions? >> thank you, mr. chairman and
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i, too, would like to express my sympathy for those losses in boston and if it were to turn out to be that it was a terrorist, al qaeda-connected operation, i think two things are important for us to remember. one is that perfect security is not possible. the united states is a great nation. it's vulnerable and we'll always be vulnerable to some sort of attacks, but the offensive approach in which we go after those who are organized and dedicated to attacking us is the right approach and it does reduce the amount of attacks that can occur, in my opinion. eneral dunford, i think your what winning looks like in your statement is a conclusion to this effort in afghanistan that i can support. i think it's a reasonable and legitimate definition of
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success. i am concerned, along with senator mccain's comments that success can't be just removing our troops. after our men and women have given so much, this nation has sacrificed treasure and we've ost some of our finest in this combat. to not finish strong, to not end this e. in a way that gives us maximum opportunity for this kind of success would be a deep, deep and great failure of our country. do you feel a commitment to those who've served, who committed themselves to this effort and want to see a successful conclusion occur? >> senator, i feel an absolute commitment to the men and women who have sacrificed over the past 11 years and to the families of the fallen. that, frankly, is my motivation
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for performing my duties on a day-to-day basis. >> and you've told us you believe successful conclusion is possible? >> senator, i absolutely movie believe that the things i outlined in my statement and that i referred to in terms of what winning looks like are absolutely achievable. >> well, this is an important observation but i am concerned, and i'll follow up a little bit on the question senator mccain raised. i'm looking at an april 2 bloomberg article. goes on in some depth about a group of former u.s. officials who visited there and they say that president obama -- quote the first sentence "president obama's failure to spell out his plans in afghanistan is adding to the risk that some afghans will start negotiating deals with the taliban, according to former u.s. officials who visited the country. one of those being former under
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ecretary of defense michelle floynoy, which all of us know. president obama's appointee there. do you think that's a risk that's occurring? >> senator, i absolutely agree that today we are dealing with uncertainty that has to be addressed by a clear commitment from the united states. what i was attempting to do earlier was allude to the fact that it's about more than a specific number. our commitment post-2014 is support and are the security force and the political process. it's an entire package that transcends the importance of any one number. >> all right, i'll respect that. this is a quote from former under secretary of defense michelle -- "in afghanistan right now there's a huge amount of anxiety about the scale and nature of u.s. commitment long
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term." do you think there are actions that we are we can take to eliminate that huge amount of anxiety and would that not help us be successful? >> senator, i absolutely believe there are things we can do and i absolutely believe that the environment within which the afghans will assume the lead there year, it's critical we shape that environment with this idea of commitment. i mentioned the bilateral security agreement. from my perspective signing that bilateral security agreement, of course, that attention both the united states and the afghans to agree on by signing that will be a clear manifestation of our commitment post 2014 and i think the commitment we'll provide from the advise and assist and counter tim perspective is important. it can't be one day we make a message and allow it to go months before we say it again. i think a constant drumbeat of our commitment is necessary.
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>> this article notes that there's a historical paranoia in afghanistan as a result of the previous abandonment of afghanistan and allowing the taliban to take over. do you think that's an accurate assessment? there is a sense of uncertainty and paranoia maybe among the people? >> senator, i see evidence of that. i mentioned the age of after ganls. even those who weren't alive in 1992 talk about the beginnings of civil war in the 1990's and a desire not to return back to those days. on to say etary went that spelling out u.s. intentions, including how many troops will stay will "reduce counter productive hedging behavior on the part of various parties in afghanistan and in the broader region."
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do you think that's a valuable observation? >> i think providing a specific range of numbers right now with the demonstrated commitment, the level that we provide upport would be helpful. dd >> are you aware that one white house advisor has said no troops may remain in afghanistan? >> i read that in the newspaper. >> would that create uncertainty in afghanistan if that were thought to be a potential policy of the united states? >> senator, having no forces and no presence post 2014 in my mind would undermine or campaign success. >> well, in this article -- i just found it to be a pretty good summary of some of the difficult choices we're wrestling with and you're having to deal with. i mean, you're not the commander in chief. ultimately the president of the
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united states, the commander in chief, will decide how many troops are there. you'll make a recommendation up there all the chain, is that correct? >> that's correct, senator. >> well, one of the things that was troubling to me is our commander in chief, president obama has been there five years and we've got troops on the ground in harm's way right this minute. and this is why mr. michael o'hahn lan, the defense analyst at brookings said in this article april 2. one of the most consistent, i guess, observers of our operations in afghanistan and iraq of anybody in america. from the beginning he's been observing, commenting and writing about it and this is e liberal heritage foundation. he says the absence of a clear message from obama about continuing u.s. presence in afghanistan may be an indication -- excuse me. he's not saying this.
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this is what the writer said. the absence of a clear message may be an indication that the president has not made up his mind, said michael o'hanlon, defense analyst at brookings. " obviously obama was of two minds about keeping u.s. troops in iraq after the war ended there, ohanlon said. he may have similar ambivalence in afghanistan. so if the president is ambivalent about the future, well, i won't ask you to respond to that. i will just say if the president is am blive -- ambivalent about the future, what will happen in afghanistan, i'll observe, i think, without doubt, it makes your job more difficult and makes success more difficulties and we've got to get our act together. i think we have to have a clear moge.
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i appreciate your firm view that success is possible. i think that should be the goal and the goal should not be to meet some political vision of troop levels unconnected to the reality in afghanistan. thank you for your service. we appreciate it and all the men and women that serve with you. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator blunal that will? >> thank you, mr. chairman and i want to join in thanking you for your service over many, many years in the mission you have now and many others and the men and women who perform so courageously under your command and want to thank you particularly for your very helpful and in factive testimony here today, which is encouraging in many respects but also sobering. i find it sobering in two respects particularly.
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first of all, your reference to the continuing threat from i.e.d.'s, a problem that has bedeviled and perplexed and stymied our efforts in afghanistan as well as iraq over the years and i want to ask, in particular, whether you there having been any 's gress in the pakistany action against the flow of fertilizer and other bomb-making materials from their country into afghanistan. apparently the casualties and deaths from i.e.d.'s are still the biggest single source of the threat in afghanistan to life and limb there. both to our forces and to the .n.a. and anasf.
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i wonder whether you could comment on whether the pakistanis have been more crop active and helpful. >> we're not meeting with the pakistanis, specifically on the i.e.d. threat. they also recognize the threat to i.e.d.'s inside pakistan, which i think has heightened their concern. the joint office of i.e.d. defeat has had some success with working with manufacturers in pakistan to programs change some of the content of the fertilizer that would make it less likely to be used. we have had some cooperation with the border but i'm not satisfied yet. we still see large amounts of ammonium nitrate moving back and forth and sadly that provides the materials for the preponderance of the i.e.d.'s that we're dealing with.
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largely, the effects of the i.e.d.'s are being felt more by the afghan security forces even more than our forces today. >> my concern is that there have been more words than actions from the pakistanis and the continuing rhetoric, as you refer to it, over the years, has produced less action than there should be. >> i think it's fair to say there's less action than there could be, less than there needs to be. >> let me then go to the second sobering part of your testimony, which refers to the ttrition rates in the a.n.a. what you refer to as a significant challenge, quoting you. soluble?roblem the a.n.a. going to be able to recruit and retain the forces that it needs to repel
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and taken and conquer the taliban? >> i believe there is room to make a significant improvement in this attrition issue. i mentioned earlier that we had focused on growing the quality of forms over the last several years. the vetting process in place today is much better than the vetting process we had in place a couple of years ago. there's a direct correlation between the attrition in the afghan security forces and leadership. where we've seen effective afghan leaders, we see low levels of attrition. there is a direct correlation between leadership and attrition. the minister of defense has recently directed a study be done of all lieutenant colonels and above in the afghan forces. 30 general officers were recommended for relief from their duties. 45 additional were recommended for retirement. the minister of defense
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entralized decision making for captains and below. these are the steps that i believe have to be taken. i'm mindful of the challenges we had in the u.s. military when i came in as a platoon commander in the 1970's and we had significant attrition in the united states marine corps and in the united states army at that time. a big part of that was leadership. as leaders were held accountable and addressed that problem, the problem got better. this idea of lim development is a two, three, five-year process but we're moving in that direction. afghan leadership are being held accountable by the afghan chain of command. whether they fail to perform they're being dismissed and i think that's a positive sign. >> and that effort will really
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depend on the credibility and confidence and the integrity of the afghan army, won't it? tilltory me effective action is important. i'm very concerned and -- with the contracts involving taxpayer delars of the united states that may go to demeans our in effect benefit enemy in enemy. -- ve spearheaded plans to im enact laws that prevent that. do you have any organizations about whether there have been improvements generally within the afghan government and specifically related to united
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states contracts for goods and services? >> the n.e.a. that allowed the us to cease contracting with the enemy was very helpful. if you had indication with a contractor or subcontractor was associated with the enemy and could immediately stop that contract. the afghanistan passed -- the secretary general's report in taking that further. conceptually, i support that. it would expand the on the department of defense of the other u.s. department agencies could have other authorities given as a result of legislation and also to address the different level of contracts over $100,000 and this would bring it down below that. i do think we have had improvement -- improvement in a particular area as a result of legislation. continuing to move in that direction would be helpful. >> thank you. one last question.
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my time is about to expire. the chairman asked you about the afghan interpreters' that were the subject of a recent piece. i am concerned about providing what is necessary for the survival of these interpreters. i have talked to marines coming back and they are concerned, as well, with the kind of service these interpreters and others provided that may endanger them. very severely so, their lives. do you have any observation about what we can do to improve the process? >> i would put a personal face on it. one of the individuals waiting for the visa, who has applied to come back for many years, was an interpreter the day he received a congressional medal of honor. there was an individual -- and the dayal part of that
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lives were lost. many more interpreters like that fought alongside of us and supported the mission. our success could not have been possible without them. having visibility and recognition of their contribution in facilitating their coming to our country would be very helpful. >> thank you, general. thank you for your service and thank you to the men and women under your command. thank you. chairman. >> thank you. senator kerry >> thank you. forink you and your staff doing a successful job in a difficult surface -- circumstances. i would like to share. al qaeda is still president -- present. but they are not as effective. what did you say? >> i believe our operations,
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those not being conducted by u.s. forces, afghanistan, but it seems to me their operations conducted in pakistan, disrupting al qaeda and pakistan. >> would you agree pending special forces on the afghan side of the border has been helpful? >> it has been extraordinarily helpful. it has had a disrupting the effect on al qaeda. >> how many fest -- special forces do we have today? >> i can to be that number. i prefer not to give it to you here. >> absolutely. it with thousands -- it would be thousands, i would suggest. >> that is correct. >> we have others in the fight but we have a lot of intel in that part of the country. is that correct? >> we do, senator. >> we have the ability to strike in that part of the country, as well. my point is when you look at a post-2014 force, it would be an unwise move to take that infrastructure down.
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do you agree? >> i do. >> i want my colleagues to understand there is infrastructure in place that the mission -- diminishes al qaeda's effectiveness on the inside of pakistan. if it a direct result -how- it is a direct result of the infrastructure. the right -- it is a direct result of the infrastructure. what would losing look like? >> afghanistan devolving and returning to chaos, being a sanctuary through al qaeda. the people of afghanistan being subjected to the oppression of the taliban in the 1990's, a sanctuary through which security and pakistan can be threatened. all those would be components of losing. >> the ability of al qaeda to regenerate would be greater under scenarios. is that correct? >> i do not think there is any question.
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>> if we were seen as losing in afghanistan, it would be hard for iranians to shave -- change their behavior? >> a credible outcome in afghanistan will influence those who will do harm. comes to future hands to be played, cards to be moment let's say for a there were no troops in 2014. we decided to pull out completely, like we did in iraq. what would your evaluation of the out come the -- outcome be? provide did not security assistance to the afghan national security forces pose 2014, it would be a question of time before they would devolve. lose allld eventually we have gained? >> i believe afghanistan would be at a great risk of instability. >> do you think that would be true if we had 2000 troops left?
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>> we would not be able to accomplish both of our missions. one is to deal with the terrorist threat. the other is to deal with security and stability and prevent the taliban from coming back. of thisf the goals bilateral security agreement is to solidify the relationship between the united states and afghanistan, or -- for a least a 10-year period. the sooner we can make this announcement in a bold way, the better off. do you agree? >> i do. for aator and i have been long time about the size of the afghan army, 352,000. cost us about $6.5 billion a year to maintain the force. does that sound right? be $4.10 billion for
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the record, increasing the 252,000,d sustaining somewhere between $5 billion and $6 billion. only a small part of that is what is the cost of the record through to 2018. $1.30 billion. the afghans have pledged $500 million, and we pay the difference. >> the difference between 352 and 230 is how much? >> in any given year, somewhere between 400 and $600 million a year. difference in capability is significant? >> both from capability and psychology, it would be significant. >> would it be a wise investment for the american taxpayers to continue to invest in the security forces? >> i do.
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>> the more they have, the less they need us? >> there is a relationship between our post-2014 presence and the capability of the afghans. >> we just introduced a new agreement with the afghan government. could you give us a one-minute overview? fore transferred authority the pension operations for the afghans in march of 2013. that means now there will be a criminal process that affects detainee's. we have an agreement to keep the enduring security threats in detention at this particular time, future and during security we also departed at the facility to ensure we have visibility of detainee's post the transfer. >> is it fair to say we do not have it planned for the nationals we hold?
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>> we still have custody and control of third country nationals. i do not know what the plan is post 2014. it is part of an ongoing process. >> some of these are transnational terrorists. >> they are. have crones help to the operations? -- drones helped the operations? >> they are effective across all of our operations. >> if you see an al qaeda operative out in the open walking down the road, we get a good signature on this person, do we have to wait until they pick up arms and fire or can we should when we see them? >> we do not have to wait. >> that makes common sense. future of afghanistan, you have pakistan as a potential threat, you have al qaeda,
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taliban, and afghan government, the government in afghanistan is one of the enemies we are fighting here. you indicated our military will get better over time as leadership evolved and people are held more accountable. do you believe the corruption we see today in afghanistan among different ministries and throughout the country can get better over time as these young people we have been mentoring takeover in the future? >> i believe it can get better. the operative part of your phrase is, over time. >> we are talking about a 10- year window. >> i think we are talking about this population assuming positions of increased responsibility in the future. >> is it a good investment on our part? >> it is a critical investment. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator came. -- king,.
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-- king. >> the doctrine of guerrilla war is that the guerrilla has to swim in the sea of the people, or something to that effect. how do the people of afghanistan feel about this conflict? qaedae taliban and al find a warm, possibilities -- hospitable see to swim in, or are people loyal to the government and what we have tried to accomplish? question theo afghan people do not want to return to the oppression of the taliban -- the taliban. we have surveyed and into the creek -- indicated that taliban are increasingly not popular among the afghan people. that has not been a direct correlation to support for the afghan government. they are opposed to the taliban, but they are opposed to what the
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taliban are stand for, but they do not expect the government to provide full support. >> the people in america are not too crazy about, as he. a given subjt. -- a different subjects. you were involved in iraq. what lessons do you take from iraq that can be applied to this circumstance that we are now facing, ending our involvement in afghanistan. >> one of the most important lessons from iraq is that we waited too late to work to the details of a bible -- a bilateral security agreement. we were not able to conclude the successful bilateral security agreement. we started that process much earlier. that is why am highlighting this this morning. the key lesson learned is that we have a smooth transition post-2014, that we provide the
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afghan people with our essential commitment post-2014. should view 2014 as nothing more than a change in a mandate and authorities, but a continuity of commitment post- 2014. if we are able to do that, we will have eternalized our most important lesson. >> you think essentially 2014 should be a seamless transition to a competent and sufficient afghan forced to essentially take over? >> i do. what january 2015 looked like is we have completed political transition, we have completed security transition, but we are there decisively to assist in counter-terrorism under different authorities. now that the exact request of afghan people in the context of a bilateral security agreement, we will not be under a u.n. mandate, will not be under the military agreement, but will
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still be there and be able to provide the requisite support politically and from a security perspective. >> you mentioned the afghan forces anticipate to be somewhere around 350,000. what are the estimates of the size of the taliban or al qaeda or the aggregate and in the group, if you will? question we ask all the time and we do not know. there are some estimates that talk about 20,000 to 30,000 taliban. because you have various levels of taliban, those who are ideologically committed, the taliban senior leadership, certainly different than they today people who might fight on the ground, very different to capture a number when you talk .bout the cap -- the taliban >> given the small number, the view of people at large will be critical as to whether or not they can gain any power in the situation.
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they will have to have the support of the public. do you agree? >> what gives me optimism and the reason i am optimistic about the campaign is it is all about the afghan security force possibility to provide security to the population. we are improving in the particular area every day. it reduces the ability for the taliban to influence the possible -- the population. think the taliban will wake up and realize they will be not able to influence the population in the way they have done in the past. >> what is the situation on green on blue attacks? has that kind? do you feel that is under control? >> that is one of the most insidious risks to the force.
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2012, we had a significant challenge of insider that spirit we have significantly improve our training. we have counterintelligence training as well as in the in -- the afghan forces. we have a much more routine an effective dialogue with our afghan partners to vindicate the risk -- to mitigate the risk. i will not be complacent. we made progress. we have had three in 2013. during the same time, we had 20 last year in 2012. the issues that keep me awake tonight and the ones i want to stay focused on come insider threat is one of those. it erodes trust between our coalition and our afghan partners and it erodes the will of the american people and recognize that. >> what is your analysis of the leadership of the force -- the afghan force? that is important.
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the quality and character of the leadership is a corrosive -- crucial element. you know these people .ersonally >> i would characterize the leadership as improving. there are number of leaders that have commitment and strong leadership and are taking appropriate action. will take time before we have the depth of leadership we need to have across the forces, the continuity of leadership, where we see good leadership, we see good units. where we see deficient leadership, we have challenges. that is one of our areas as we focus on quality in the next couple of years, leadership development is important. not only officers, but not commitment officers. we are short 10,000 noncommissioned officers in the army, about 6000 in the police,
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addressing those is a key part of what we need to do in the next few years to make sure our progress is to stand. >> will we maintain any role at all in leadership training and that kind of professional development? >> absolutely. that is probably the primary 2014. of our post- where we grow officers and develop integrated capability. it is the same for our coalition partners. >> thank you very much for your service and particularly your service in this difficult and important time. >> senator? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general, for joining us and the service you have provided to our country.
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if they reach an agreement to keep troop presence beyond 2014, what are some of the tangible goals the united states will be looking for to achieve in that country? there are certain security metrics and measurable levels of ?ecurity we are hoping to reach what would it take for you to be comfortable in saying we would no longer need a troop presence in afghanistan? post-2014 is about growing capability in the afghans. some challenges the past -- start at the level. they cannot manage a budget right now. as an example, last year, won the execute a very small percentage of the budget, they actually had, it was not due
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growing the capabilities is very important to sustain our efforts, there are logistic issues. to have an infrastructure in place that can assure distribution all the way down to the lowest level is an area that needs to continue to be worked on. as i spoke about, leadership is also important. when i'd start to look at what we need to do past 2014 thomas our efforts would not be to provide in afghanistan. it will be to provide the afghan forces, so what we have done over the past several years is sustainable. we will be able to measure that sustainability over time and reduce our presence. >> do you have the metrics in place? >> we do. have functional areas that will be able to determine where they are.
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moreepartment of defense conducting the war effort this year than was necessary. from what we understand in order to make up for this underestimation, the department of defense which is of course difficult because because we are facing because of sequestration and the long-term spending limits by the dutch and control act. witherstand the problems andng to budget and plan aforeseen costs can arrive miscalculation is a little bit alarming especially given all of the other forces and pressures
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we face in the department of defense. how thatxplain underestimation of curse? >> i am not aware. we underestimated by $10 billion, our requirements for this year. we are looking at every dollar we spend and we have significantly reduced for construction, reduced what we have reduce in afghanistan. i will go back and look at where the projection came from and why we are in the position we are in. we can follow up on this. let me talk about from the beginning, it is impossible to cover the issues without behavior. and
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we have spent billions of dollars since 2001. for economic assistance. some would say, it is more of an obstacle than progress in the region from closing the borders to nato supplies with extremist groups to the lack of cooperation for the hunt of will some of bin laden and the subsequent arrest of his assistants. what is your personal assessment of the relation between the united states and afghanistan and the relationship between pakistan and afghanistan moving forward but mark -- forward? betweenve interest extremism and weapons.
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i personally watched how we dealt with pakistan over the years, so we decided to isolate pakistan as a result. we stopped, i now see the efforts of that policy that took place over a decade because my generation of leaders did not have personal relationships with our counterparts to work with some of these issues. it has to be balanced. it is in our interest to have a strategic partnership. we need to manage the relish up an end in sight. of course, it is something that needs work. with regards to afghan -- afghanistan and pakistan, it is to ensure we have an constructive relationship. it will be at the tactical level. it could be the foundation for a
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deeper relationship over time. it will take much time. i am optimistic because i mentioned earlier that the leaders as well as afghan leaders will meet with me. we have a number of exchanges going on. to a post 2014 thesenment, you believe payments to pakistan altered to continue regardless of whether the extent there is an american presence or nato presence? >> we need to maintain a very constructive, relationship. we need to relies the threat pakistan has within its own borders. we have to do what ever it takes. we have to make sure we are protected. >> one of the things i am always looking into that kind of aid is
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whether or not it serves the military purpose. you said, we have to do what ever it takes to maintain their relationship. are you saying payments of that size and nature are what is going to be required in the long is but mark >> senator, it in our best interest to develop the pakistani army to ensure a can deal with security within their borders. i would not say that every single program we have in place is one we often sustain in the future. that is not something i pay attention to right now in my current duties. i am adamant that we should maintain a close relation with pakistan and help them develop. >> if we were able to cut out of that off, the second the dynamics you are talking about -- military to military missions do not exist? but they have a very real threat right now.
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i do not believe they can deal with that type of threat without external support. >> thank you, general. >> thank you. >> thank you. of course i'm a thank you for being here at your incredible sacrifice to our country. let me move right to the afghan general elections in 2014. we agreed it would be difficult of those elections. in your assessment, what needs to happen between now and april of 2014 to make sure the elections are not only free and fair, but recognized to be free and fair i the afghan public customer -- by the afghan public? >> as i mentioned earlier, the summer of 2013 from my perspective is very
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important. we need to emerge with security in those areas, especially those important to the election. we need to emerge with security, so people want to participate in elections. one thing we can determine is whether they are viewed as free and fair is if they are inclusive. we need to make sure the security such that people have access to the polling stations in april. from a perspective, that is important. hasminister of interior the standpoint. we can provide whatever support the forces need us to provide to make sure it the elections are successful. to the afghan local police. we talked about their important role and you talked about how the caliban sees that program. you said it is one of the most significant issues that the taliban what have to address in
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order to be successful. do you still hold that view? to what extent does it need to be funded and demand at high levels? is it a sustainable initiative that we drove down our coalition troops? >> i believe that it is critical to our success. it is an important component. i spokeof the reasons about, i have confidence in the ability. we have 20,000 guardians today. we are planning for 30,000. the minister of interior have requested to grow that figure to 45,000. what i asked my staff to do is to review that in june or july of this year to ensure that we do not look at it except for in the full context, to achieve post 2014. i am a believer and the afghan
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police. i believe it is one of the critical components. i believe it is sustainable. it has afghan ownership right now. it is the afghans that are identifying where we want it to be established. couldnk you overstayed or i could overstate the utility of local ownership in the sense of these police forces work for us, not the local coalition or the local communities. you're simultaneously preparing for this year's fighting season and planning for troop reductions over the next 20 minutes. in your opening statement, you mentioned range of capabilities and units that the afghan security forces currently lack. in that light, would you recommend that aviation assets and other capabilities be supported by our military in
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2014? on a related note, will the u.s. government civilian agencies be able to sustain their current levels of personnel and assistance without having a robust nato military network in place? >> senator, there are certain capability gaps. you highlighted the most important ones. i would say the most important one would be close air support. i would recommend that we is supply close air support to the afghans post 2014. we have seen at times were the absence of that created difficulties for afghan forces. we will not be able to address the capabilities of the afghan air force until 2014 or 2015. there will be -- until 2015 or 2016. there will be a gap. when that gap exists, i would recommend we provide that support. with regard to civilian
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agencies, earlier i mentioned that i believe we should be in the four corners of afghanistan post 2014. one of the reasons i believe that is not only to provide the right level of advise and assist to our afghan counterparts, but completeave integration. i understand and his requirements are from an embassy perspective. they are part of our planning for post 2014. >> i will not ask you to answer this question but i think it is incumbent on all of us to think about president karzai's the papers and karzai -- karzai's behavior's and comments at times. we should consider what his reaction would be moving forward. i just make that comment. let me turn to sequestration if i might. what are your concerns? to what extent will
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sequestration have a negative effect on the mission and the readiness of troops who will rotate into the theater in 2014 and pickups -- perhaps beyond. >> i have been told the sequestration will not affect the resources available to our men and women on the ground in afghanistan and i believe that. my concern is it will affect the readiness of home units preparing to deploy to afghanistan. i think one of the great success stories over the past 10 years has been the quality training and equipping we of provided to our young men and women in uniform. there is no comparison to what training was earlier in my career. that is a result of the congress and leadership learning lessons over the last 10 years. i think it is important that we sustain the high level of training in the coming years because we will still have people in harm's way. >> let me move back to the
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taliban and the threats they present, but also the opportunity for the afghan government and for us. i think we share a concern that the taliban could become viewed by the public as the best arbitrator in dispute resolutions. if officers are viewed as corrupt, afghans could be tempted to turn to the taliban and their courts to resolve problems. if you add into that the sense -- that provides the taliban power and influence, potentially. is it reasonable to expect that these practices, which are counter productive, can be halted? >> it is not so much providing an alternative which would cause them to be irrelevant. i do believe dispute resolution
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ina court function afghanistan. the rule of law is a critical area of the afghans have to improve in order for our success to be sustainable in the future, no question about it. >> again, thank you for your service and thank you for making the long trip here tooth. >> i want to follow up first on senator gramm's comments on the attention of somebody we capture, a third country nationals. my understanding is there is really no plan as to what to do with them in the future. >> we do not have a decision on
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what to do with them in the future. the office ofhave the secretary of defense coming over to work through this issue. i just do not have a decision about the disposition of those detainees as we approach 2014. >> what would be the risk of not agreeing to a plan for those detainees? >> these are people that absolutely have to be kept behind bars. we need a plan to contain these individuals, in most cases on an interim basis. >> visit our view that the afghans would not be the best people -- is it our view that the afghans would not be the best people to be in charge of those detainee's? bei do not know if it would their desire to keep them. the afghans have moved to an evidence based process for detention operations. we use a conflict framework.
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i am not sure the afghan process would allow us to keep those nationals detained beyond 2014. that is something we will have to take a very close look at. >> thank you. mentioned thatou there are about three and 50,000 afghan forces. these are not police forces -- 350,000 afghan forces. these are not police forces? >> these are aggregate forces, police, border army, and local police. >> how big a problem does attrition continued to be? >> attrition in the army is a significant challenge. we of 30% attrition. police is much better, about 15%. local police is very low. the army is the area where attrition is of greatest
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concern. >> is its highest as you get closer to fighting season? >> we have not seen a direct correlation between fighting season and attrition. we have seen a direct correlation between leadership and attrition. >> what size force would you contemplate leaving? i guess i have two questions. what size forced to we have to leave to get people and equipment out successfully? secondly, what size force should we hope that the afghan people can maintain and sustain? equipment,ard to our there are really three aspects of closing down in afghanistan. one is the right to grade of equipment that will come back to the united states. -- richard rate of equipment that will come back to the united steel -- retrograde of equipment that will come back to the united states. we will get that equipment out
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by 2014. we will still in all likelihood be closing bases and reducing materials pose to 2014. we will need some -- post 2014. we will need some element to be able to do that. the current element is 2500 soldiers. a similare will need organization post 2014. it is a logistics unit that actually works with the united states central command. with regard to the afghans, i think we are now looking at the force being the best recommendation. >> what level of outside help will they need to sustain a force that big? >> they will need, through 2018, the vast majority of the money necessary to sustain that force is going to come from the united states and international
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partners. >> the vast majority -- >> absolutely, about $5 billion to sustain that force. the afghans will pay about $500 million. the preponderant of the resources necessary would come from the international community and the united states. >> and on removing people from afghanistan, at what point do you leave -- at what point do the people that are there face real danger, and how many people do we need to leave their to safely get the other people out? >> senator, a couple of things. one is we will make that decision based on the security environment, based on the capability of the afghans who will provide the security environment with regards to the drawdown. as general dempsey says, we're never going to ask 10 soldiers to do more than 10 soldiers worth of work. we will shrink the perimeter in
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a way that keeps afghan protection first and foremost. >> one other question on facilities that we have there. you mentioned returning a situation back to the way it was before the facility was built. do we have any process we go through with the afghanis to decide if they like things left their that otherwise are of no value? >> we do. we have a very detailed plan to sustain afghan forces post 2014. some infrastructure is being transitioned from coalition forces to afghans. all the infrastructure that is over and above their ability to sustain over time, we have a very detailed plan that links the infrastructure the afghans will maintain post 2014 with the resources we project to be available to sustain that infrastructure. we want to make sure there is a balance between the projected resources for sustainment and
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the number of the facilities the afghans key. those that cannot be sustained post 2014 are the ones we would reduce that to the way we found it. >> to go beyond the military use of those facilities, to hospitals, schools, some other use, do we have a checklist like that? >> we do and that is led by the afghan government. local governments, if they want to have the infrastructure, they should submit a request to the afghan minister of finance. the minister of finance would come to us with a request for a specific piece of the infrastructure to be maintained. >> thank you. you have had a tough assignment and it looks like it is not going to get a lot easier. i wish you well with it, you and those you work with. thank you for what you do for us. >> thank you. senator came. >> good morning, general. thank you for appearing
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before us today. aird a tour of langley force base in virginia a couple weeks back and we talked about this issue of the war fighter being protected in sequester. i was surprised to find that many of the military personnel that maintain the f-22 is are not defined as were fighters, as though some sequester and budgetary issues are affecting their ability -- and so some sequester and budgetary issues are affecting their ability to maintain aircraft. 60,000 folks under your command in afghanistan, while the war fighters may be protected, how does the sequester and some of the other budgetary challenges impinge upon your mission, and in particular, i think about things like retrograding equipment. is that something that is viewed as a core war fighting mission,
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or is that part of the mission that is subject to some of these budgetary reductions? functions we're performing inside afghanistan to include a retrograde are considered were fighting functions. i have been assured there will not be an impact in those areas. the units that are home station, i know from my previous assignment, it is very difficult to say we will probably restores those units that are next to deploy and not support those who are next to deploy. it is not that clean. as we start to see degradation of readiness at home station, there is no doubt that that degradation of readiness will affect those units next to deploy as well as those not currently slated for deployment. >> on director great question, and there may have been an answer on -- on the retrograde
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question, and there may have been an answer to this, could you talk about the relationship with pakistan on moving equipment out of afghanistan? >> we have just completed a contract to move equipment out of afghanistan through pakistan. we are largely clear of the backlog that was in pakistan, moving it into afghanistan. live successfully completed crucial principle -- we have successfully completed crucial principles. we will be looking over the next 40 days to maximize movement into pakistan. for a long time, brown lines of communication are not available. we're -- ground lines of communication were not available. we are in a good place. of theink many members committee and many senators look at actions of the pakistan government with a lot of
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concern. at the same time, we also understand that pakistan has lost as many people in the fight against terrorism, al-qaeda and other elements as any of our allies. and you alluded to, but did not go too deeply into the question of the nuclear arsenal and pakistan. from a security standpoint, it seems one of the main issues the united states needs to worry about is an unstable pakistan that could potentially jeopardize the nuclear arsenal there, and that is one of the reasons we need to be so diligent in not distancing ourselves from pakistan but continuing to work to the greatest extent we can as partners. >> yes sir, i believe we have common cause with the pakastani is in that regard. they increasingly recognize the threat of extremism. we certainly had been dealing with that for some years.
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to the extent we can have an effective relationship in dealing with the dream as a threat over the next couple of years -- extremist threat over the next couple of years, i think the relationship with pakistan will be useful in that regard. >> to talk about drones and the use of drones. i would like to expand and go deeper into that question. there has been a strong military rationale and we have been able to use drones in a way that have provided us a significant military advantage, yet we also weigh the effect of the drone program on the civilian population. talk to us a little bit about the current state of affairs in afghanistan in terms of how our drone program affects the civilian populations acceptance of our mission and whether it leads to additional violence against our troops. >> when we employ unmanned vehicles in afghanistan, we
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have the same standards as we do with manned vehicles. mitigation of civilian casualties is no different weather there is a pilot in the cockpit or not. before we deploy a force, we ensure we have positive identification of targets, individuals with hostile intent, and we do a clear assessment of collateral damage that might be associated with the particular strike. i am quite proud of our forces over the last 18 months in terms of all we have done to mitigate civilian casualties, but i do not think there is a relationship between an unmanned vehicle and a civilian casualty. i think it is the deployment of that tool that is most important. i think today we are deploying those tools and a way that mitigates civilian casualties. >> even beyond civilian casualties -- because i have a high degree of confidence that you are deploying the tool in how about the civilian
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perception, the attitudes that the drone program brings about, even if we are doing it perfectly, if it brings a great deal of controversy within the civilian community, that can make our challenge more difficult down the road. what is your perception of the civilian understanding of the program? >> inside of afghanistan, i have not detected any concern by average citizens over those vehicles, in large part because of how we deploy them. taliban are very concerned about those vehicles and they talk about them all the time. >> let me move to another issue about the presidential elections. our president's post 2014 is designed to address two conflicting issues, first that we are not an occupying force and second that we are not going to abandon afghanistan.
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trying to meet both of those goals as challenging. what do you think of recent announcements in policy on post 2014 troop levels? what effect they likely to have on the presidential elections? >> your exactly -- you are exactly right. the messages of occupy and abandonment seem to exist in the same space. the message of us as an occupier is not going to resonate as the afghans assume the lead in 2013. what the afghan people will see on a day-to-day basis is afghan security forces providing security. the message of the taliban of us being an occupier or afghans being the tools of occupiers i do not think will resonate in 2013 as afghans take the lead. with regard to the message of postonment, our commitment 2014 is a component, but what
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really is necessary is that the united states and international community convey a credible, consistent, comprehensive message of commitment post 2014. with that message and afghans in the lead, i think both the message of us as an occupier and the message of thus abandoning the afghan people gets mitigated. in the messaging that we are talking about here, it is very important that a strong narrative of commitment and a strong narrative of the afghans the lead for providing security, i believe is a critical component of success. >> senator shailene. >> thank you. much for your service and for taking on this very challenging job at a critical time.
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i want to go back to further discussion about the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan because i agree with your view that that is whenever we our, can do to help smooth out relationship -- whatever we can do to help smooth the relationship and foster it is very important. president karzai has repeatedly accused islamabad of trying to undermine the peace process between afghanistan and the taliban. does his accusation have any and can youo it, update us on whether or not there is actually a reconciliation process under way? >> i do not know if there's any credibility to president karzai's statements about
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pakistan undermining the peace process or the taliban. the state department, of course, is working very hard. the president has identified political reconciliation as one of his priorities. i know the state department is working very hard to do that. there is an office being opened in doha. i think we're waiting now for the tell a man to be there and of the bargain it as far as -- for the taliban to meet their as far as process moving forward. inh regard to afghanistan practice and president karzai's comments, i think they highlight the deep mistrust the currently exists and has historically existed between pakistan and afghanistan. i think that is what we have to do is in our efforts, bring that relationship together in a constructive way and establish a foundation of trust.
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i think just like our nation, when we do military to military engagements, that can be the foundation of something deeper, a strategic partnership that could obviously take years to develop, but i believe that military to military relationship, bilateral, should be one of our objectives. i believe that component is critical to winning, constructing a relationship between afghanistan and pakistan. >> one of the areas of tension, as you point out, has been that order. when i was there in 2011, we saw , and one ofrectly the things you talk about in your testimony is the effort to --rove crosscourt nation cross coordination with standard
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operating procedure. can you talk about whether that and whatlly improved the potential is to keep that going post 2014, when obviously border issues will continue because there is a basic disagreement about who controls what along the border? >> i can. we did sign that agreement back in the fall. as a result, we have an exchange of information in the event of cross border firing that is very helpful. about three weeks ago, the pakastani began to do some construction on a border post in a border region. it is disputed exactly where that border post is, whether it is in afghan territory or pakastani territory. the afghans indicated they would not stand for the
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border post being approved. they were given the authority to use force if necessary. we used a process called border flags process to bring together senior pakistan leadership and coalition forces. we did that as recently as yesterday. again, it was an attempt to deal escalate the situation. over -- d. escalate the situation. over the last three weeks, we have been able to manage and the escalate the crisis as a result of this agreement. we hope for a bilateral relationship between afghanistan and pakistan. i think it is not only possible, it is happening right now. i think leadership on both sides recognize the tactical issues must be addressed on a tactical level and not allowed to bleed over into strategic relationships. even president karzai has the knowledge that to me and he is very supportive of eight -- has
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acknowledged that to me and he is very supportive of a military to military relationship. i am optimistic that we're moving in the right direction. >> that is encouraging. you have talked a fair amount what ouring about presence might look like post 2014. can you talk about the commitment of our nato partners after 2014 and how robust that might be and whether there is agreement about what that presence should look like? theenator, i attended defense ministerial in brussels and defense ministers agreed they would provide a thousand- 10,000 forces. i think it is fair to say our coalition partners are very much looking to see what the u.s. contribution will be before
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making a commitment. in many cases, our partners will need u.s. enabling support before they are able to commit. i mean specifically, a casualty evacuation, medical evacuation, which they cannot provide but would need to be in place in order for them to be committed. that so, is there anything we should be doing -- >> so, is there anything we should be doing in the lead up to 2014 to provide those assurances to folks so everybody is in agreement on what happens? >> i know the president is deliberating now. as he makes a decision about the basic framework, he has already committed to president karzai as recently as january that we would be there in some significant way post 2014. as president obama makes a specific decision, i think it is scoy to be a cub all levels
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of all levels to engage colette -- i think it is going to be us at allon all of levels to engage coalition partners. i think it is important we maintain that same level of commitment for the alliance goes 2014. in terms of sequencing, once the president makes his decision and discusses that with his counterparts inside the coalition, i think we will see the coalition partners make their own decisions. their ability to generate political will and do budget planning necessary in large part rests with a u.s. decision in what our presence will be post 2014. . .
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captions performed by national captioning institute] >> with regards to future targets, we have a commitment by afghanistan that they will not only keep in tee tension the enduring security threats in the past but any future enduring threats would be detained. i would prefer to talk about the intelligence piece in a closed forum. i would tell you in this forum
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that we will have appropriate access in intelligence sharing with the afghans. >> thank you, general. we can follow up in a more appropriate forum in the security piece -- intelligence piece. >> you said you are satisfied that the afghans will maintain control of those individuals. so i think you and i both would want to avoid a dok duk type situation. can you agree with us how this situation is with the afghans and to your satisfaction that we won't have that situation? >> were afghanistan not to meet their commitment we would have
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real policy issues to address at that point in time. i think it would change in some way the fundamental nature of our operations. it would certainly change the nature of support we might provide to afghanistan in the future. so what i'm saying now is that we have an agreement with afghanistan to keep those e.s.t.'s detained and security threats and were they to violate that commitment, i am satisfied that would be a significant change in our relationship, a significant change in the nature of operations and we'd have to deal with that at that time. >> thank you, general. i wanted to follow up on the questions that senator blume that you will -- blumenthal asked you about. i appreciate your testimony. we were original contractors of the no contracting with the enemy provisions. senator blumenthal and i had an opportunity to travel to afghanistan together. as a result of that, we have introduced legislation called "never contracting with the enemy" how's that? to try to fill in some of the
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gaps to improve. we made significant progress with the no contracting with the enemy, but including to drop the level from 100,000 to 20,000, as you had mentioned earlier. it is not just the d.o.d. contracting. >> as you are describing the new legislation, it will be critical that not only d.o.d. that has contracts but the state department, specifically -- >> from your perspective have we been able to save taxpayer dollars? >> we have been able to save taxpayer dollars, but more importantly, we have been able to prevent those dollars from
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being in the hands of the enemy who would do us harm. >> with the legislation that senator blumenthal raised to you, is this something you would endorse that we would get past this year? >> senator, i would. i think anything that would keep resorlses out of the hands of the enemy would be positive. so far the army has been effective with contractors as well as sub contractors. >> also. i also want -- major general luongo was very helpful to us in putting together this legislation. so we are grateful for his support as well. thank you for that. i wanted to ask you about the follow-on force from 2014 and beyond. with each area of afghanistan, thinking about the follow-on recommendations that you will make to the president, how important is it that we have a presence in all four regions of afghanistan? >> senator, i think it is very important that we be in all four regions. from my perspective, it starts
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with i think the lowest level at which we should advice and assist. as i mentioned earlier, i am completely integrated with ambassador cunningham in terms of planning for u.s. presence post 2014. i believe being in the four corners will be necessary for us to ensure that the gains that we've made with the afghan forces are sustainable post 2014. >> when we look at iran and their role in afghanistan, speaking prltly post 2014, what area of the country are you most worried about with respect to iran in terms of having a presence? >> it is in the west, senator. it is in the harat region. we certainly see today evidence of malign iranian influence.
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we certainly see today a great effort by iran to control what goes on inside of afghanistan. i am happy to report that midst resources have not fallen on first i will ground. they have tried to do shings things that they have been unsuccessful in doing. they absolutely have great influence in the western part of the country. >> if we were not to have a presence or sufficient presence in the western part of the country, looking at our 2014 posture along with our nato allies, what influence, type of influence, do you think iran would have and what do you think they would do with that? >> i think it is fair to say that they would have influence in the western part of the country. i also think it is fair to say that past is prologue, that that influence would be maligned and could be destablizing for afghanistan. >> how is it going in terms of negotiating the bilateral
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security agreement? >> the last thing i did as i met with the afghanistan ambassador, the primary negotiator for afghanistan. all i can say is that at least on the afghan side, his sense was that things were moving in the right direction. president karzai has said the same thing to me. there are two or three difficult issues we are working through right now. they are non-negotiable from a u.s. per expecty. i think the team is working hard to address that right now. >> thank you very much, general. i appreciate your leadership and those -- all of those that serve underneath you. you do an excellent job. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. i just have a few general questions. the use of the term safe haven and sanctuary. i have always used them
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interchangeably, and obviously you do not. at least that became obvious in some of your early conversation this morning. can you explain to us the difference in your vow cably between the two? who has what where? >> we use the term "safe haven" for an area which we cannot get to and which the enemy can move through. sanctuary we use that with regard to pakistan. we talk about enemy safe havens just so we are clear inside the force. we talk about enemy safe havens. we talk about an area inside afghanistan, and sanctuaries being those areas outside of afghanistan. >> i think there is some confusion about those terms. i will talk about my mind, i won't talk about others. i am confident that colleagues have also used the terms interchangeably and that may have led to some of the comments this morning. i'm guessing on that.
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i thought you were saying the taliban did not have a sanctuary inside afghanistan, the afghan taliban? >> in the exchange earlier, i thought we were talking about al-qaeda. >> you may have been, and i may have misheard it. i think there was some real uncertainty. at least mae my staff also felt -- i'm not talking about your comments necessarily, but in the exchange, that there was some uncertainty as to what was being referred to in afghanistan, because it is clear that there is a sanctuary for the afghan
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taliban inside of pakistan. stark? >> chairman, there is no doubt. there is also the pakistanis taliban moving in some cases freely in the eastern part of afghanistan and back into pack -- pakistan. >> i think probably in the future it would be wise for you to pin that down and talked to the members of congress. i have heard that used interchangeably. i not saying -- it is used interchangably by many colleagues, and it sure is by myself. i am going to try to be more accurate in the future, particularly when i am talking to one of my military leaders. i think in the common ordinary sense of the word, that out in the public there has not been that distinction, which has been made, and you should be aware of that, if i am accurate. ok?
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secondly i want to ask you about the time-table for the decision that would be in after 2014. i think most of us, all of us, need to have a credible commitment for the uncertainty that does compifflet in afghanistan to be removed, both in the eyes of the people, the government that clearly want an ongoing presence that's credible. it is also important for the taliban to understand that there will be an ongoing, credible commitment from the united states. you have not made your recommendation yet today, and you indicate thrd are a number
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of factors that can affect the proper number or range of that would be. am i right? >> yes. >> now, the one issue, however, that i think -- and you've spoken on this -- i want to be real clear on. in your mind, and in making your recommendation, that it is essential that there be a bilateral security agreement that protects whatever number of troops we have that are there, for instance. we are very careful about protecting our troops that are in a foreign country so that if it is not appropriate subject to the judicial arm of other countries, that if we don't think it is appropriate for that to be the case and under what circumstances will they -- an american soldier or marine or whatever be subject to foreign
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jurisdiction? and we're very, very protective of our troops. is that correct? >> tharme, that is absolutely correct. >> that is set out in a bilateral security agreement. it is supposed to be set forth, that is right? >> yes. that really is a sub set of the bilateral security agreement. >> so it is -- whatever commitment that is made, in jury judgment, should be -- in your judgment should be conditional upon a working out of a bilateral security agreement. is that fair to say? >> absolutely, chairman. any authority we have to operate post 2014 would be in the frame work of a bilateral security agreement. the u.n. mandate expires in 2014, and the u.s. technical mandate expires in 2014. our presence post 2014 would be based on the bilateral agreement
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we make with the afghan government. >> not only would it be dependent on that authority, but my point is, whatever number we have coo only be committed if we have a bilateral security agreement. we need a bilateral security agreement before troops are actually left there after 2014. is that correct? >> that's that's exactly right. >> whatever number, whether it is 8,000, 12,000, 6,000, or 14,000, or whatever it is, is our share of the total number of troops there, that that would only be accomplished if, in fact, there is a bilateral security agreement between our two countries.
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it is a >> thank you for your time. we will stand adjourned. gentleman >> contact information including e-mail and twitter the directory is $12.95 plus shipping and handling. order yours online at c-span.org/shop. >> this comes from agusta, maine. he's a student of cony high school, and a third-prize winner
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of c-span's student cam competition. >> education was the gateway for me. it was the gateway for michelle. it was the gateway for most of you. and now more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle class arrive. >> in america we are at a cross-roads. education is becoming more and more expensive as the student loan debt has reached over $1 trillion. i traveled around my home state of maine in search of a solution. >> my college experience has been really such a growing experience in many ways. >> i think it is more about an experience, time management, meeting new people, expressing your ideas, and being in a place with a lot of other intelligent and really focused individuals
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and just being able to take advantage of that. >> what college education does for you, as i said earlier, is cultivate the mind, broaden the mind, educate the mind. hopefully instill in someone as a creative thinker. >> it helped me evolve as a person and it did get me ready for a job, but it also got me ready for life. >> i am so thankful for the education i've gotten. i wanted to study a range of interesting phenomenons and topics and analyze different issues around the world. but that is a luxury. unfortunately, i mean, i think that's the which -- way the price tag really goes to.
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>> there is a growing idea that students will not be able to pay the bills that institutions are requiring of them, and that fee of going to college is scary for a lot of students. >> i think there is a national imperative. how we think about using our dollars in order to support students to get a good education without having to take on massive amounts of debt in order to get that great education, because that massive debt clearly does have an impact on their job choices going forward and on their lives. >> as tuition rises, the road of higher education in our country gets deeper and harder to climb for lower and middle income families. with belts being tightened, we're in a bit of a crisis because the job market has been decreased. people are coming out with debt that that they can't pay because they are not getting jobs or
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they are getting jobs below what they thought they would be able to earn. >> so we know what this is about. we were lucky. we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. that wasn't that long ago. >> in my day, i could work either at night or part-time during the day and pay for my books, pay for my tuition. you could literally come out of a college program debt-free. that's not true anymore. >> my mom would give me the story of -- she went to college, went to graduate school, and ended up paying it off over 30 years of her life. >> my mom went to school. i have heard from them how stressful it is. i mean, it is not pretty. >> we have under-invest in to
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our students and the cost of their education. so we have put more of the burden of that cost on the students. >> when i talk about students today, there are parents that say, well i paid for college myself. why can't my child pay for college themselves? but it has all changed. it is not the same world. you can't expect the student today to be able to go out and earn thousands of dollars in a semester and be able to pay that and not have student debt. >> we are underwriting a huge facility. it never stops p if you look at some of these universities, they are constantly building. and they are constantly building because they are constantly fulfilling the need of the students that apply who will pay $50,000 a year to go there. >> what is being done? is there an answer? >> the federal government has wisely invest in to a
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needs-based system of student financial aid that is designed to help remove or at least lessen the economic barriers to higher education. we want them to look at student loans as last resort. when you have exhausted all avenues of grants, scholarships, work, jobs, savings et cetera, only then should you and your family look to student loans. >> there are other ways that you can get help. for example, your future ememployer, particularly if it's the federal government, may be willing to help you repay your student loans in return for public service. i was pleased top vote to prevent a doubling of interest rates on the new federally subsidized student loans which would have added to the already heavy debt burden that students face. >> it is very hard to get a lot
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of productivity out of the system the way that manufacturing companies can become less expensive over time with the changes in technology. that being said, there are opportunities, i think, with new technologies to lower the cost of education. so i think our colleges and universities provide a fantastic service and we should support them, but we should also hold them to the mark of being excellent and providing these opportunities to our students. >> i think a large part of this goes to supply in demand. as long as we are willing to go to pay that money and students want to go there, they are going to be able to charge that amount of money. >> you should never little -- never really pick a college based on college. the only issue is where you fit into the whole equation. i understand money can be an issue, but that shouldn't stop
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you where you want to be in life. >> i think the discussion needs to happen at the dinner table more and more between students and parents so they can come to a kind of a plan for higher education that allows the student to go and at the same time doesn't bankrupt the family or the student in future years. >> those are very important years of maturation. i think not only the education that you pick up in the classroom but the education you pick up on life with some guidance, which is important as well, makes the college experience very valuable. >> small steps are being taken to make a college education more affordable, but america needs a long-term solution so everyone may have the same opportunities. america has always been known as the land of opportunity. we need to keep it that way. >> congratulations to all the winners in this year's student
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cam competition. to see more winning videos, go to student cam.org. >> over the last four years i'm a little worried about this administration. that i think is part of a long-term trend, as i outlined in the book, that it is using more and more state power to impose a particular world view. a world view i call libralism. we'll go to a definition of that so we aren't using terms loosely. as a christian, i'm worried when the state h.h.s. agency wants to mandate that catholic institutions -- i'm catholic -- have to pay for abortion in their insurance programs. i am worried when the supreme court starts taking up things like gay marriage. i'm worried about the things i see at the universities. so i see more and more the state impodsing a particular kind --
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imposing a particular kind of agenda. it is really a world view. this is bigger than democrats and politics. it is a world view. that's what i am investigating in "worshipping the state." ben wiker on liberalism and the de-christian zation of america. >> in a moment, the teament of detained suspected terrorists. in about an hour, a hearing on the veterans affairs budget.
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>> a task force has determined that the u.s. tortured suspected suspects following the 9/11 attacks. this is a little less than an hour. >> thank you. i want to express my thanks to
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the constitution project and all my fellow task force members and what they brought to the table in terms of public service. it really made a difference in the development of this project and important report. as jim mentioned, there are more than 24 findings and recommendations. we can't cover all of those. we hope you will take the entire report, study it through, and look at each of those recommendations. why is this report important? it is important because we as a nation have to get this right. i look back in history durling the time to -- during the time to world war ii that we intered some japanese americans. at the time it seemed like the right and proper thing to do. in the right of history, it was an error.
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so today this report will hopefully put into focus some of the actions taken in some of the post 9/11 environment. there are key questions we want to answer this morning. one, did the treatment rise to torture? secondly, how did it happen? what can we learn from this to make better decisions in the future? on the first question, we found u.s. personnel in many instances used ininterrogation techniques on detainees that constitutional torture. military personnel conducted cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. both categories of actions violate u.s. laws and international treaty obligations. this conclusion is not based upon our own personal impressions but rather is
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grounded in a thorough and detailed examination of what constitutes torture from a historical and legal context. we looked at court cases and determined that the treatment of detainees in many intanses met the standards the courts have determined is constituting torture. in addition, you look at the united states state department in its annual country reports on human rights practices as characterized many of the techniques used against detainees in u.s. custody in a post 9/11 environment. the stathe state department has characterized the treatment as torture when used by foreign governments. the c.i.a. recognized this in an internal review and realized many of the interrogation techniques employed were contrary with the policy the u.s. has taken regarding human
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rights. the united states is understandably subject to criticism when it criticizes another nation for engaging in torture and then justifies the same conduct under national security arguments. there are those that defend the techniques like waterboarding, stress positions, and sleep deprivation because there was the office of legal council which issued a decision approving of their use because they defined them as not being torture. those decisions have since been repudiated by the o.l.c. it's sefment even in it's peap it relies not only on a narrow definition of torture but also on factual representation about how the techniques would be implemented that later proved inaccurate. this is important context as to how the opinion came about, but also as to how policymakers
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relied upon it. based upon a thorough review of the available record, we determined that an application -- that in application torture was used against detainees in many instances across a wide range of theaters. on the question of responsibility or how did this happen? any effort to understand how the government decided to approve the torture of detainees must begin with a recognition of the fear and anxiety that enveloped our country after 9/11. we have a small taste of this today even after the events yesterday in boston and the desires of law enforcement to know the perpetrators of this act of violence. the intensity was much greater post 9/11 because of the incredible loss of life. the american leaders in that period were simply preventing
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further attacks. task force members understands that they undertook those measures as their best efforts to protect their fellow citizens. while a report is critical which led to u.s. personnel engaging in this treatment of detainees, it was not a partisan fault-finding. our conclusions about responsibility should be taking, very simply, as an effort to understand what happened at many levels of the u.s. policy making. there is no telling if a democratic administration was in power at the time of the attacks. in deed our report is equally critical of the treatment which
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began under president clinton as well as the current administration as well. it should be known that many of the corrective actions that were first underdaycaren during the bush administration as well. the task force did conclude that after 9/11 approved actions for stay stay and defense personnel based upon legal guidance that has since been repudiated. the most important decision may have been to declare the geneva convention did not apply to dead al-qaeda and taliban captives in afghanistan or guantanamo. the administration never specified what rules would apply instead. the task force bleevebs believes thause us defense and intelligence members and service members in harm's way need clear orders on the treatment of detainees, requiring at a
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minimum, compliance with upon common article 3 of the geneva convention. this was not done. civilian leaders and military commanders have an obligation to abide by the laws of war. a future president could change it by the stroke of a pen. congress, as one of our recommendations, needs to work to reform the rules to remove the loopholes that allow torture to occur. in terms of the c.i.a., we did not have access to classified information. this is the reap we are asking the ad mrlings to remuch of the classified information to provide more transparancy and light on how the policy decisions were made.
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dr. david gushe would be happy to discuss how the absence of standards left troops on the frontline in an untenable situation. on the question of the persistence of torture, there is no evidence that the widespread use of torture against suspected terrorists was necessary. that is, that it prode significant information of value that could not have been otherwise obtained. i'll just simply make two points in observations in this regard. the task force believes that to say torture is ineffective does not require a demonstration that it never works. a person's perspective of torture might yield legitimate information. nor does that justify its use. what values does america stand for?
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that's the ultimate question. in addition to the real and moral objections to its use, torture often produces false information, and it is difficult and time coming for investigators and analysts to distinguish what may be true and useable to that which is false and misleading. also, conventional law enforcement methods have proven to be successful whenever the u.s. uses them throughout history. we have seen no evidence in public records that the attritional means of interrogation would not have yielded the necessary intelligence following the attacks of 9/11. general david irvine who taught prisoner of war interrogation for 18 years at the sixth army intelligence school is on the task force and will be happy to answer questions about the effectiveness of torture. those are a couple of the key
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findings. there are many more findings in the task force report that i hope you will review. this has been an important task that we have engaged in, but we understand how difficult it is for a nation to come to terms with what these findings are and these recommendations. we hope that we will learn from these and improve policy-making decisions in the future. with that, i'll turn it back to my co--chair for questions and answers. >> thank you very much, asa. i would like to identify some of our task force members to whom you might want to ask questions. the effects and the consequences. the report looks at the impact of our actions on our relationship with other governments in the world.
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of special interest is the extraordinary rendition program after september 11 terrorist attacks. the bush administration resolved to youzhny means to protect the united states from further attacks. this extraordinary rendition program used previously by president clinton quickly became an important tool in that effort. and in the years since, numerous investigations and inquiries have found evidence of illegal acts in the form of arbitrary detention and torture resulting from the program. these need to be reviewed. they uncovered many new details involving portland. in portland an official investigation has been hampered by the u.s. government's refusal to provide and share any
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information. even as the polish prosecutors have issued enindictments against polish officials for their role in facilitating the sites. in lithuania, prosecutors face many of the same problems of not being able to get information shared with them from the united states government. in that particular case, they closed the investigation in 2011 and while they admit that there were black sites there, they have no evidence of what prisoners were detained there. there have been a number of programs. one by the house of commons, and another headed by the conservative m.p. andrew tyre. the task force will actually present our findings to them in june. due to the growing legal and political consequences of the
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c.i.a.'s rendition program and met work of secret prisoners and the fact that officials creditably assert that both programs have been discontinued, the task force recommends that the united states fully comply with its legal obligations under the convention against torture. and in cooperating with the pending investigations around the world and these lawsuits. the president also closed the c.i.a.'s black sites. but their effect on the c.i.a.'s rendition of detainees to foreign custody is less clear. therefore, the task force makes specific recommendations of ways to strengthen the process of rules on those conditions and the process of diplomatic assurances and those countries
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to which they are rendered. ambassador tom pickering can answer the questions that you have in this particular area of international and diplomatic issues that you discussed. they also look at the effects of our actions on former detainees. detainees are not traditionally an object of sympathy, and yet many of these detainees who were found not to be guilty of anything that we -- even though they did not have a trial, were released and released virtually with no assistance, no help, and no way to get back into the world. this is an issue that i think is of importance. and dr. aziza alibre can answer questions with regard to those. a few words on the medical and legal professions in this effort. medical professionals, including
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physicians and jike psychologists, participated variously in interrogations. rules and regulations and operating procedures were altered to guide physicians in their involvement in detention and interrogation procedures that put many of them in direct conflict with their professional ethics. we offer several recommendations to preclude this in the future. we have, as asa mentioned, the force-feeding part. that where the military acknowledges there were 28, i think a little higher as of today, defeignees at quantity mow, that are conducting a hunger strike. 10 of emwhom are being force fed. the press reports lawyers of other detainees that the hunger strike is much more widespread involving a majority of the 166
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men still held there. many and that some have lost significant weight. again, this is a medical issue. i suggest you direct your questions to dr. jerry thompson. on the legal front, one of the things we found was this a war conducted less by the generals and more by the lawyers. the lawyers also did play a key role. in the aftermath of the attacks, the lawyer and department of justice's offices of legal counl counsel provided legal advice that seemed to go to great lengths to allow treatment that amounted to torture. the report offers a systematic examination of the ways of legal interpretations evolved in response to the court decisions and public pressure. the role of the o.l.c. is
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unique. it is the president's law firm. they have a responsibility to push back against unreasonable institutional pressures from the white house or anywhere in government. the task force recommends that the o.l.c. should periodically review confidential opinions to determine if they may be declassified and released. if opinions from the o.l.c. might some day be disclosed, the o.l.c. might be more mindful of its responsibility and act in an impartial manner and less likely to engage in advocacy. professor richard epstein is available to answer those questions. on the issue of the obama administration. candidate obama promised to close guantanamo and reject
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torture without exception or eequivocation. he also criticized previous administrations for executive seek recessy, including repeated invocation of the state's secret privilege to get civil lawsuits thrown out of court and he promised to lead a new era of openness. the administration has full fit filled some of those promises and conspicuously failed to fulfill others. in some cases because congress has blocked them, but in other cases for reasons of their own. as asa mentioned, the secrecy around torture of detainees cannot be justified to be continued to keep secret. the c.i.a. has approved its former employees publication of detailed accounts of individual
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interrogation. ongoing classification of this only makes its rep -- repetition more likely. as far as redaxes needed to honor specific -- as far as redactions needed to on more -- honor specific agreements, it has been determined to be made as available as possible. in addition to prohibiting all acts of torture, it requires the state ensure in their legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress, and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation.
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the united states has not flied with this requirement. the task force recommends that the state's secret privilege should be subject to independent judicial review and restrict the use of the privilege to cases where it is truly necessary to protect against nonspeculative harms to national security. as asa mentioned we have specific legislative l -- ligs legislation to act on. we suggest you read the report. now let's close and open it up for questions. first of all, let me say we were trying to get the website to answer the question. after you raise your hand, identify yourself and wait for the microphone to come to you. we have two microphones on both
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sides of the room. thank you for listening to our summation of the report. who has a question? >> i am from al jazera television. i wonder if you could talk more about what the long-term impact of that is and what can we see -- i mean, how can this situation be resolved. that leads to my question for the both of you about political with will to do what the administration has said is the intended goal of closing the facility and, you know, due process for as many of the detainees as they can put on trial.
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it seems there is no will on either side. congress is blaming the white house, and white house is blaming the congress. what can be put forward? >> the long-term impact can be seen in two ways. one, the potential impact on the detainees, in terms of success, in terms of personal risk and injury. secondly wharks will be the im pact at guantanamo? you know the task force came out strongly condemning the force feeding, and this is in keeping in line with international ethical standards. both in international treatment of hunger strikers, and the ethics of treating hunger strikers. we do not believe force feeding should be an approach to the hunger strike. if you can imagine being a detainee and using refusing to
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eat as a form of process, and then you are strapped in a specially made chair and having restraints put on your limbs, your arms, your legs, your body, your head so you cannot move, having a tube inserted into your throat that extends into your stomach, and you are trying to resist that with the only muscles that are free in your throat. pain and discomfort, obviously. but in addition to that, food is then forced in a liquid form into your stomach. you are kept in the chair for at least two hours, usually more than two hours, to prevent you from vomiting and undermining the force feeding. you can't go to the bathroom during that time. your dignity is taken away. the world medical association
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and international officials have clearly identified that process as cruel and -- inhuman, and degrading treatment. given the level of brutality, it could extend to torture. since you are refusing food, that's going to happen to you twice a day, day after day, month after -- and week after week. for some detainees, it has gone on for years. as much as four years or longer. now, no question that that has great risk to the detainee. and if the detainee is not treated properly, some damage can occur. obviously there is always the risk of death. we worry about this hunger strike. as you know, it is not the first at guantanamo bay. perhaps the most dramatic and most extensive were in 2005.
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there were two dealing with conditions of a detention camp and beginning to come to grips with the extended detention, the hope of getting out of guantanamo bay. the first part of that ended because the detainees thought there was going to be application of the geneva convention. when that didn't happen they had the second hunger strike, and it was during that hunger strike that the restraint chairs and force feeding was introduced. this now is a hunger strike occurring with very different circumstances. the last hunger strike seems to have been broken by the use of the force feeding because the numbers dropped off dramatically during the force feeding. in addition you have to believe there was sm some hope in
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association with that, that the detainees saw with the force feeding. this time we are dealing with force feeding and hunger strikers who may have much, much less hope. in fact t reason for the hunger strike is an absence of hope. so we are concerned first of all that force feeding is being used. second, we don't have a lot of transparancy about how that is being done. third, it is very hard to see how we're going to have a reasonable outcome here without some sort of incident. >> when you ask the second part of the question, when will the political will come about with congress blaming the administration, the administration blaming congress. before you got to guantanamo bay, i thought of budget, gun control, immigration. that seems to be prevalent in washington these days. i would point out that we had unanimous agreement on all parts of our report. with one exception. and it is part of an -- part of our report, and that was on what
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to do with the guantanamo prisoners which are the minority of those who are there now, who have not been tried and who for various reasons of evidence being tainted or whatever probably will not be tried. that's where we have agreement and have a minority opinion. minus ambassador tom pickering, however, who was very outspoken on this particular issue to comment on this and on her question of the political will. >> one hopes we will see efforts on gun control and these efforts. i spent a good part of my life
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trying to import two other governments to live up to the rule of law. i was chagrined, embarrassed, and indeed in many ways felt undermined by the notion that our country which instructed me on numerous occasions to uphold the rule of law, particularly in definite detention without trial , was something that we now practice and continue to practice despite all of the questions that people tend to want to raise about a war and prisoners of war and all of the rest. my sense is that we need a specific way forward. the report contains recommendations on a specific way forward. simply trial or military
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this does address the symbolism of guantanamo. which i think does address the use of the rule of law and the question of indefinite detention without trial. we also recommend that in parallel with the position that occurred when our forces left iraq when the major effort is terminated in 2014, there be a public statement declaration of the termination of any application of the thought that
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there is a war-time situation continuing in respect to these detainees. i think from my earlier remarks you will understand the importance of that. >> there were two defenders to some of this. let me see if i can identify what the sources of differences are. first of all, none of them relate to the detention. i think we agree that one of the most dangerous findings is people in authority can do dangerous things because erosion slips, and there is a greater and greater departure from the things contemplated above. i kind of as a professional lawyer, remedial side is extremely difficult to deal with, even though there is difference in what is wrong under these cases.
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so in guantanamo, the terrible situation in contrast to what? there could be a different outcome from whom the supreme court who has interpreted some of our sources say it is time to treatment that some of us in favor only apply when you are in the territory of the united states and shipping people to remote areas giving them fewer rights and much less assistance than they could otherwise get. on the question of the indefinite detention, i think we all agree that it is a fleetly nightmarish -- completely nightmarish situation, because we do not know when the conflict will end or what to do in the interim. my own opinion is we should release some of them. the evidence leaves you in limbo strong enough to detain but not strong enough to try. my only concern about that is the need for a constant system
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of oversight, and review is important. one of the things that is wrong with the system of habeous corporateous is it is a once and for all determination at the outset of a hearing, and that's something you have to constantly upgrade on new information. you must have constant oversight by other individuals. the situation here is similar where you have a lawrence requirement under the situation does not deal with the situation. the thought you should allow this stuff to go on indefinitely without periodic review by an independent authority is, i think, indefensible. so you should understand the differences that exist on this task force with respect to enmity are a means to an end. this is more laudable than the report speaks out. i think the level of thowness this team brought to this is second to none, and we hope even if there are some disagreements on the remedial side, that we all agree that the report will place powerful limits on what
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counts as a credible response to the difficult situations that we faced in the past, and we must do everything in the future to avoid. .
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>> thank you. toouple of questions, one follow up on the guantanamo issue. eugenic note -- gentlemen were not able to reach a unanimous recommendation after two years. you're very recent struggle. what chance are there that administration can overcome the political, legal, legislative optical set up closing guantanamo by the end of 2014, as you suggested. the other question is in relation to the boston tragedy. is a picture of overreaction to 9/11, in many ways.
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counter-terrorism operations and the like. ant danger might you see of overreaction coming out of what is happening in boston, as -- in terms of the safety and security of public places. >> on the first question, one of the reasons for giving comprehensive report and putting it in context you can relate to, ,articularly the recommendation there is material we found, that will give congress and the political forces a clear in -- a clear picture of what did exist today. based on that, there might be changes of attitude with regard to guantanamo. to me, one of the big problems
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of the post-9/11 was the lack of clarity in what people down the line were asked to do. i do not think that is likely to be repeated. feel ishe things we necessary is a clear line of responsibilities and what you do with those responsibilities. that will hopefully not happen again. anyone else? >> you make the point very clearly the fact that we are holding this press conference this morning, in the aftermath of a tragedy of great proportions to the country, and talking about correcting the should,f overreaction, in itself, say something to the public and the press and those who have to make decisions. we put in our report a road map
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of how to avoid future error. we decided fact that to go ahead this morning, despite a normal tendency to postpone, speaks to the question of can we and should we not get on the record what is a record of the need for corrective action, and do it in the aftermath of a national tragedy of the proportions we science today. >> one of the things we learned from this report is the single most dangerous notion in dealing with these things is to assume this allows you to excuse yourself from the observance of standard procedures. it turns out trying to make ad hoc judgments on the spur of the moment leads to more mistakes than it avoids. the sound medical treatment, the ability to follow protocol with standard procedures when it
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looks there are -- as though there are independent reasons, is is what -- it is one of the things you have to constantly stress. there is a willingness to stress the emergency of the moment and not enough to get clear with respect to the background procedure. one of the things we have said is you do not use extraordinary procedures when regular procedures are available. you do not spend your time arguing whether or not certain kinds are or are not covered by geneva conventions. follow military advice, giving everybody the same trial, you get more. on the other point i would systemic enemy. in this case, the early returns suggest it was an isolated act of a given individual. that may well change the way in which they start to think about how one treats this thing going for.
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as towill be found out how this thing did. arelong-term implications obviously less than is known. >> i concur. we are learning in terms of boston. the first responders, the homeland's security officials, the fbi, protocols, i have no beson to think there will any overreaction or breach of normal covert -- protocol's put into place. >> other questions? general,ll on the because we have had questions on as efficacy of torture
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beneficial to the united states in getting information. could you comment? >> first of all, as we approach the question of what brooder intent -- brutal interrogation can and cannot produce, it became quickly evident there were many claims made at harsh interrogation, torture, whenever you wish to college, we have run into the euphemism frequently, enhanced interrogation techniques, that this somehow works and is a justifiable means of obtaining information. thatct, it is curious today, probably more people in thatnited states believe harsh interrogation works and ought to be used, at least in some cases, where there is a particular significant threat that is involved.
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one of the reasons this probably has evolved as it has is that the claims that it is effective, oft it has saved tens thousands of lives, has largely been made in a vacuum. as has been mentioned previously, we did not have access to classified information, particularly through the classified interrogate -- interrogation locks developed by cia interrogators, and military interrogators in some instances. those reports are critically important in determining whether the claims that have been made for the effect of the -- the effectiveness of these interrogations' have validity. from what we have been able to determine from public record, it noongly suggests there was useful information gained from going to the dark side that
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saved the hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands of lives that have been claimed. there are many instances in that public record to support the notion that we have been badly misled. by falls concessions that have been derived from peru interrogations'. s. brutal interrogation people will just say whatever they need to be said if something becomes more than they can bear. other people become so immune to pain that they will die before they reveal what an interrogator may wish to know. whether cruelty, torment, torture, is effective, is a question we cannot say in every instance is not effective, nor can we say that it is more effective than conventional
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means of interrogation. this is an issue that will be resolved hopefully when the senate select committee on thelligence can release details -- the details on a report it releases for those senators and staffers who had actually gone into the classified record and had made an analysis based on that information so far, the reports are that there is not much there that would suggest this in pro for the interrogation had been useful. 2001, theion, in united states had had a great deal of experience with tactical and strategic interrogations'. very successful over a long time in learning how to do this and to this very well unfortunately, when the policies
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developed that led us to the , many had no experience with the interrogation and law enforcement and the military and how these are approached. fbiof the most successful interrogators prior to 2001 is a guy named joe who is noted as having said, -- he is probably one of the handful of strategic interrogator's qualified to interrogate and the brief a high value al qaeda prisoner. joe said, i only need three things. if you give me those, i will get whatever somebody has to say and i will do it without breaking the law. i need a quiet room. i want to know what the rules are. i do not want to get in trouble. third, i need enough time to
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become that person's best and only friend. if you give me those three whatevers, i will get that person has to say, and i will get it quickly and safely and within the terms of the law. we can do it well when we want to. we need to do more looking at our history to remind us what works and why it worked and not to expedient, clever, were necessary. >> other questions, did you have a hand up over here? go ahead. >> thank you for the report. i have two questions. number one. are you planning to have a on this or hearing issue? of congress on the
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republican democratic sponsored here. number two. are you planning to meet with people to speak about this issue to them? issue impactsis the relationship of the united states and the muslim world and arab world in terms of the image of the united states? it be known, we would be willing to testify and to brief anybody in the administration and congress. it is up to them to invite us. >> thank you. say i have been very honored to be on this panel and to find out a lot of information throughout the two years that i did not know in such great detail. it is important to me because
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one reason i am in this country is because i believe in the ideal of the constitution and of this country. ourselves intoad thinking that everyone who comes here comes for economic reasons. there are a lot of people who come here for our values. is our values that we need to keep up. that is who we are. the problem with these issues is that i am now found the out -- finding out a lot as you are. muslim and arab countries, we have heard about these in detail for a while now. many detainees went back and talk. people, children, under 18, and we were found not
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guilty and released. and they went back and not only did they talk to families and communities, but some. on television. that is a very uncomfortable position for me, someone who has been working on human rights issues from the world for the last 30 years. to find out that we have a problem with human rights. i have worked very closely on issues of religious freedom. there are also some of these issues that. in guantanamo and other places, as you might have heard. this bothered me a great deal as an american. but you can imagine the situation abroad. i am very concerned al qaeda has seen an expansion. it has been able to expand its
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forces from initially being in afghanistan and out among all the way to syria and parts of egypt and so on. the more we stand up for her we are, the more we expand our values, the more we are going to gain and give influence and force to the muslim world that believes in us. >> thank you. let me. we have three minutes left before closing. doctor, would you have anything you would like to say? i would like to ask nick if he had anything. he led a terrific team. then asa. jim.ank you, for all societies behaved differently under stress. at those times, they may even take action that conflicts with
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their its central character and values. that is what we did here. we were under stress. we took actions that conflict with who we are. who we are called to be and who we have committed to be. not we spent about 10 years being willing to face the truth about it. often by covering what happened with euphemisms and an awful lot of secrets. i believe our detainee task is revealing where we strayed from our values by shining the light of investigation and analysis on to the problem, in the hope the next time we are under that stress, we do not go down the day -- the same road. has been an honor to serve on this panel. >> thank you. things,in terms of new
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everyone here discussed the general contents of the report, the most important thing. there are some new points raised in the reports discussion on the role of the international red cross, and the debate inside the organization. we had an interview with the fellow who was the representative from often. withso had an interview the first commander of the in -- the attention officer in guantanamo, who offered support for the humane face of guantanamo in the early years. he is a navy captain, colonel, and he now teaches at the college, and he relates in our report how he is filled with remorse and regret and feels he was misled and used and is very contrite about what happened and what he did not notice that the time. thank you. >> it has been a great privilege for me to coach here just a disc -- such a distinguished panel
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appear they were deeply involved. close itou want to off? >> lifeful -- likewise. i hope this marks an illustration about how things can work well in washington and our nation, that a group of anders in a bipartisan left-right way, can work through a very thorny issue in our country and make a difference and this will set a good path for the future. thank you. >> thank you for coming. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> over the last four years, i am worried about this administration. that is part of a long-term trend, as i outlined in the book, that he is using more and more state power to impose a
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particular world view, which i call liberalism. i am worriedn, when a state agency wants to mandate that catholic institutions catholics have to pay for abortions in their insurance programs. i am worried when the supreme court starts taking up things like a marriage. i am worried about things i see at the universities. i see more and more the state imposing a particular kind of agenda and it is really a world view. this is bigger than politics and republican and democrat. is a particular of a world view. that is investigating it. liberalism wiker on and the state of religion. sunday night at 9:00, part of
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book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> the funeral for former british prime minister margaret thatcher is tomorrow morning. she died monday at the age of 87. we will have bbc's three-hour coverage, including the funeral procession. invited guests include all of the fallout -- all of the -- the second will also attend the funeral, the first time a queen has attended a funeral of eight british prime minister since winston churchill in 1985. at 4:30erage begins a.m.. >> preparations are underway for tomorrow's funeral for margaret
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thatcher. joining us on the phone tonight is atom boulton. thank you for being with us. let's talk about who is and who is not attending, both by the delegation and others in the world. who is on the list? >> it is a confusing picture. this is not, of course, the funeral of the head of state. it is only the funeral for the head of government. if you look at the united states, it is a pretty partisan republican last, leading the president's delegation, james baker, and also coming our dick george, another official representative. all veterans from the administration in the reagan era. with the exception of dick cheney, who was the vice president. what is also interesting is on the congressional delegation,
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michelle bachmann is perhaps the most prominent figure there. again, someone very much on the republican side. what we are seeing is in the united states, this is being treated as a bit of a partisan event. for the french, as well. they have a socialist president. who wasnding elizabeth, prominent in the government, rather than sending a higher official from the current government. that said, there are a number of world leaders coming. probably dick of south africa is attending, and the daughter of nelson mandela, representing him. on the british side, however, this is very much being seen as a non partisan occasion. along with david cameron, the
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conservative prime minister, we have who has been coming a leader of the labor party, and gordon blair and tony brown, labeled prime ministers, attending. in britain's cents, the most unusual attendee is her majesty, the queen, and her husband. neither of them have been to a prime minister's funeral since the death of winston churchill in 1965. that is taken as a very significant sign of respect from the head of state, majesty. >> based on all of that, what is the protocol? what can we spect tomorrow inside the cathedral where the ceremony will take place? a perre is not really call. this is not like the impressive sound we have seen from american presidents. it is being invented as it goes
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along. it is not a state funeral as winston churchill had. it has been called a ceremonial funeral. is going to be in an ordinary car, a hearse, and then there will be a transfer of the coffin to a gun carriage to be pulled by horses. if it were a state funeral, it would be pulled by sailors rather than by horses. is under way at the cathedral, it will look like a very major episcopalian church of england event, where we will ave a reading done by manufacturer, the american texan granddaughter of margaret thatcher. , she did playsic
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a part of choosing what would be in the service, she chose two pylons which she had known by heart since childhood. ode to immortality. by other was a selection t.s. eliot. >> she has been out of power for more than two decades. she served for 11.5 years as british prime minister. how is she being remembered on both sides of the political aisle in great britain? than she more popular ever was in any one of the three elections she won. roughly speaking, over half of respondents in opinion polls believed she was good for britain, or a great or good prime minister. only about one-third disagreed with that. majort comes to her
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policies, such as going to the war in the south and then it -- shenst the south atlantic, gets higher approval ratings for that. as a moldeived breaking and a transformative leader. some say the greatest peacetime prime minister in modern times. she is a divisive figure. we have had protests. celebrating her death parties on the streets in some parts of london. there will be protesters lining some of the route tomorrow who asl turn their backs on it it goes past. there have been protests in the house of parliament from a handful of people at the cost of the ceremonial, 10 million pounds.
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remains someone you either love or hate. but, it is important to say this, the official opposition have supported the ceremonial being given to margaret thatcher and have found ways of praising her at the conviction politician. britain's first and only woman prime minister. boulton with a preview. thank you very much for being with us. >> he came into the white house. it is well known he hated politics. she was obviously deeply depressed at the death of her last surviving son. especially under the terrible circumstances in which he died. many friends.ve
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she did have a wonderful family who kept her going. they -- they're always seemed to be somebody there. because she was an intellectual woman, highly educated, that wonderful education and intellect seemed wasted. >> our conversation on the life of the 14th president is now available on our website. tune in monday for our next program on the first lady, mary todd lincoln. hearingfew moments, a on the president's budget request for the federal affairs department. in a couple of hours, filmmaker ken burns on his latest project. >> the department of homeland's security secretary is on capitol hill tomorrow morning to testify about her apartment's budget
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request. our live coverage is on c-span3 at 10:00 a.m. eastern. >> now, a hearing on the president's budget request for the affairs department. people testified on capitol hill yesterday for several hours. >> we have a lot of work. let's get hearing under way. i want to welcome you to this afternoon's hearing on the fiscal year 2014 budget and the fiscal year 2015 appropriations request for the department of veteran affairs.
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earlier this-year, we heard from nearly all of the veteran's service organizations. these groups shared with us their priorities which meet the needs of the men and women who have served our country. i want to thank all of the service organizations not only for their important testimony, but for the great work they do every single day protecting the interest of america's veterans. if there is anything that many of us have learned in recent years, it is that the real cost of war is far, far greater than simply paying for the tanks and guns and planes and the manpower to fight those wars. i believe that we now understand more fully than we have in the past that soldiers who come home from war are often very different people than when they went. we now understand that the cost of war includes significant care not only for those who
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lost their legs and their arms and their eyesight, but for who came home with what we now call the invisible wounds of war. most recently this includes the tens and tens of thousands of brave soldiers who returned from iraq and afghanistan with brain injury and traumatic post disorder. so while the budget we discuss today is a complicated document with a whole lot of numbers, it call comes down to how the people of our country through their government honor their commitments to those who have sacrificed so much and to the spouse and children who have already sacrificed. in their testimonies the v.f.o.'s discussed important and positive things that the va
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does. sometimes we overlook that. a terms of healthcare, in nation with over 45 million people lacking any health insurance and at a time when the cost of healthcare in this country is far higher than in any other country on earth, the va is recognized as providing excellent healthcare in a cost effective way to those who have served our country. like every other healthcare organization the va can do better and must do better. but everyone will agree the va has come a very long way in the last 20 to 30 years in terms of healthcare. another issue, homelessness. at a time when too many americans and people in my home
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state of vermont are sleeping in the street and their cars, the va has undertaken an effort to significantly reduce the number of homeless veterans in our country. since 2009 there has been a 17% decline in veteran homelessness despite the tough economy. that's the good news. the bad news is there were still more than 62,000 homeless veterans in january of 2012. the va must sustain its positive efforts in combating veteran homelessness. progress is being made, more must be done. through its world class research program, the va is making advances in healthcare not only for veterans but for the entire country. that progress must continue. the v.f.o.'s also highlighted
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the challenges and problems that continue to confront veterans of all generations. and i agree with many of their concerns. among many other issues they spoke of the obligation to address the tragic number of service member and veteran suicides. this is a horrendous tragedy, it's a tough issue we have to address it. further the need to accelerate the transformation claims system in order to deal with the unacceptable long delays we are now seeing and the huge backlog in cases. if there is any issue veterans are concerned about, it is that issue and i share that concern.
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while the va is now processing for more claims than ever before, the move to a paperless and efficient system must be completed on schedule and i know we will be discussing that issue during this hearing. further, the responsibility to make smart investments in infrastructure and information technology systems to insure that the va can don't provide the care and benefits veterans have earned is a major issue. this means, this again is a issue which this committee significantnto, a improvement between the relationship between the va and the department of defense. we may be dealing with two separate agencies but we are dealing with one human being who goes from the d.o.d. into the va. thinkable year's budget question especially within the constraints is a commitment by
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this administration to providing care to these veterans and families they deserve. the budget question is $154 billion, $86.1 for mandatory entitlements. this is a 10.2% increase of last year's enacted amount. while the va budget presented by the administration is a strong one and i applaud the president for that, i remain deeply disappointed that the white house included in their budget request the so-called chain c.p.i. switching to a chain c.p.i. would mean major cuts in social security and the benefits veterans receive. veterans who started receiving veteran disability benefits at age 30 would have their benefits reduced by $1425 dollars at age 25, del 2'1" dollars and age 5 and over $3,000 a year by age 65. tens of thousands of dollars in
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their lifetime. this is unconscionable and i will do all i can to prevent these cuts from taking place. when it comes to the issue of funding for suicide prevention. the budget is literally a matter of life or death. insuring timely access to high quality mental healthcare is critical for our veterans and loved once. to that end i am pleased to see they call for a 7.2 increase in funding for mental health. at our last hearing when we discussed the issue of mental health and suicide, dr. testified the va is on track to hire the 1600 commissions for the in the executive
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order by the deadline of august 30. i note the va has hired just 47 clinicians in the two months previous to that hearing. i understand va must ensure they are hiring high quality clinicians but they must pick up the pace of hiring if they plan to meet that goal by june of this year. when hiring these clinicians the va must recognize individuals respond different to different treatments and not all veterans respond well to traditional are piss. the issue of overmedication of veterans has been raised seeking mental health treatment. i share that concern as do many americans. i also know the many veterans respond positively to alternative medicine. as the name indicates such treatments which include acupuncture, meditation, chiropractic care and yoga can be provided in conjunction with traditional care or stand alone. i worry that enter has not penetrated all levels of the va health care. va must do a better job to make
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sure these therapies are available to all interested veterans. in terms of the claims backlog, the fact that nearly 70% of claims are pending longer than 125 days is completely unacceptable. as is the fact that it took on average 287 days to complete a compensation rating claim in 2012. the inability to provide compensation benefits in a timely manner tarnishes va's reputation among the very population it serves. i never want a veteran's negative experience with a claims system to prevent him or her from seeking mental healthcare or to help in battling homelessness. i see your testimony reiterates the goal of the bank backlog by 2015.
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va has set ambitious goals and has been working hard to transform the system. i think we can all agree that the va took too long to start transforming itself from a paper based to electronic system. clearly that effort should have begun a decade ago or longer and not just four years ago. yet, despite these facts, one must certainly understand how it is difficult for the average person to believe va is making progress when we continue to see the unacceptably long wait times faced by veterans and their survivors. veterans and their survivors need to hear about how va plans to accomplish their goals and i look forward to working with you to establish benchmark that is allow us to see the progress or lack of progress va is making in this vitally important area. va must be able to construct' repair or lease the infrastructure necessary to provide the high quality veterans deserve. the president's request has been out of touch with realities on the ground. adequate funding must be a critical part of the discussion on providing quality healthcare.
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the budget request includes another 13 major leases but does not include full cost of authorizing these leases. this is an issue i would like to address later today. lastly, let me repeat, the importance of information technology cannot be understated as va seeks to deliver the care and benefits that our veterans deserve in a more efficient and effective way. i think the bottom line there is there must be much better corporation between the d.o.d. and the va. let me conclude my remarks by
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thanking the secretary and his staff for being with us today. the issues we are going over is of enormous importance to veterans and the american people and i look forward to a very productive hearing. >> good afternoon, mr. chairman and secretary shinseki welcome. thank you for that very thorough opening statement.
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as the chairman indicated, we'll be discussing the president's budget request for the department of veteran's affairs for 20 14. it's important we provide adequate funding for the va so that all veterans receive the benefits and care they earn and deserve. yet along with that funding, we must conduct vigorous oversight to make sure programs are working properly and lead to better out comes for veterans, their families and their survivors. yet in looking over the budget request, the lack of consistent predictions and a lack of transparency lead me to question if va stewardship of taxpayer money is leading to better out comes. first the va has been inconsistent with its workload projections. these changing projections mask whether they have the backlog situation under control and second the unclear accounting practices make it difficult for to us conduct the necessary
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oversight into these programs. regarding claims processing, we all know that the backlog and delays have gotten worse over the past four years even though the va has hired more staff and spent millions on i.t. today we will again hear va assure us despite these trend this situation will be completely under control by 2015. but in my view, this budget provide one more reason to seriously question those assurances.
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for starters the budget reflects that in 2013 and 2014 va will receive 2.6 claims and decide 2.5 million. but in the plan for eliminating the backlog that was sent to congress less than three months ago. va projecting out put of 2.8 million during those years. that means they've already lower out put expectations by 12%. as for receipts, they estimated they would take in 2.7 million claims this year and next year combined. but va acknowledged it could receive as many as 4740,000 more claims. the va will have even lower receipts in those years than the backlog plan estimated. the budget also reflected that incoming claims will don't exceed out put during this year and next year which means that the number of pending cases will continue to grow. in fact va now projects it will have an inventory of 960,000 claims at the end of 2014, about 100,000 more than are pending today. compare that with va's backlog plan which predicted that the decisions without outpace claims receipt next year and as a result the level of claims would drop to less than 800,000. finally it projects that no more than 40% of claims will be pending long enough this year and in 2014 to be considered pa backlog even though 70% of claims are currently boc logged. on the other hand va's strategic plan showed a backlog of 68% this year and 57% next year just throw months ago. even if va has updated these
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estimates based on more recent data, it's difficult to understand how these projections could change so dramatically in less than 12 weeks. this makes it extremely difficult to believe va has the backlog situation under control. asia said earlier, another area for me is the ambiguity of the i.t. projects that are becoming the backbone at va offices. currently va has several i.t. projects vital to providing benefits and services to our veterans.
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in the president's request the o.i.t. requested a $360 over last year. first o.i.t. requested $352 million for the i.p.o. for development activities of the i.e.h.r. and v.l.e.r. how much of this money will be spent on new strategy of quick wins versus the operating capabilities at two sights is a question. second according to the budget justifications the allocation for vbms development is roughly $33 million which would be a $71 million decrease from f.y.o.12. however we are being told there is another $50 million in this budget. finally in my question from last year's budget hearing i
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asked about the cost of new patient scheduling system. va's response stated that they planned to have a new patient scheduling system. plan to have a life cycle cost estimate completed by january 2013. as of today this has yet to be submitted to my office. since the 2014 budget request has a $30 million allocation for the development of a new scheduling package, i wonder if the life cycle cost analysis has now been completed. this unclear nature of the i.t. budget stand in the way of
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congress's ability to conduct effective oversight in these programs, to make sure they are working properly and more importantly meeting their mile stones. unfortunately these inconsistent projections is becoming the standard operating procedure at va which is even more trouble ling when it's our nation's veterans that stand to lose the most. mr. chairman, i thank you and look forward to spending some time with our panel today. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. and i welcome general shinseki
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and his staff as we all do. i just want to recount to my colleagues that i spent a very very long time last week talking with general shinseki about how one takes a 220,000 person agency and gets it to be responsive on all kinds of different issues, many of which have been mentioned today and some more which i'll mention. and the general actually done a lot of work on management over the course of his life and
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training. and he described how he broke the 220,000 down into blocks and then blocks within blocks, all of them to be held accountable, all of them evaluating themselves and being evaluated. and the reason i say this is because i really don't know of any job which has such a human poignancy to it in its work and yet has complexity and bulk that the va has. i think you are a superb general of that va. i just wanted to say that. when we talk about claims and the rest of it, you are really working at it and i believe that. does that give veterans enough comfort? no. but everything in life is a process and the process is either pushed from above or it's not.
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and as you and i discussed, general, a number of years ago, all of a sudden the va medically went from a not very good place to a really good place. and we both at the same time said kent kaiser. kent had been sitting out in that row for years. i knew his position. i had no idea until he left the affect he had and which lasts today. i don't want johnny isaacson who is my dear friend to be mad at me if i say something nice about the president. but i am really struck, mr. chairman, by the specificity and directness of the budget increases which the president
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with the entire rest of the world claiming every nickel that he doesn't have in his government, what he has done to make your mission more amenable to your leadership. and not in all fields and not with all problems. but he has given a vote of confidence and more importantly than that he's spoken strongly to the veterans. i usually don't say things like that at hearings but i just wanted to in this case. a 10.2% increase is huge. we throw those numbers around and soon forget them. but this will not be forgotten. nevertheless i'm concerned about the persistent problems that were addressed by the two speakers prior to me. the needs growing and the backlog, i'm not sure whether it's 600,000 or at one point i heard 800,000. it doesn't make any difference,
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it's so many. and yes, you are attacking that and bringing in mental health, 1600, have you 1200 people over the country and people at hospitals are screaming and yelling because you are taking some of their best people and well done. but the importance of that as chairman sanders indicated is so incredibly important. mental healthcare is so much and so recently powerfully on the mind of all of us. i think americans in general, american families within families and even senators as policy makers are capable of seeing those kinds of things. there is no quick fix for healthcare, mental healthcare, claims, anything else. there is the need for a persistent drive, a driving agenda when the secretary and his team comes to work every day determined as you are, sir, to make a difference as best as you can. i'm disturbed by the fact that the very promising va joining with d.o.d. on i.t. and other things which was quite vibrant seven or eight years ago has now
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been called off. and i want to ask why and at what price do we pay or what can be done. i would say to my friends on this committee that we are very lucky to serve here. i've been on here every year that i've ever been on the senate which some may think is one or two but actually is 28 years. and it's a proud, proud service. so in west virginia we have many veterans. everybody does. the work is powerful in its policy and powerful in it's poignancy. i commend you for the work you've done but i still have questions to ask. thank you. >> mr. chairman, thank you and thank you for calling this hearing on this budget request.
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mr. secretary, it's good to see you again. one of the things that i appreciate and i know the other members certainly would also is your willingness to stop by our offices and talk to us about the issues that are of concern to us. i also want to indicate as a former department head i understand complexities of putting together a budget that meets the priorities of the president of the united states. and i also understand the challenges in trying to touch all of the bases. there are many challenges facing the va. the chairman ranking member went through those. i won't take up time this afternoon and go through them item by item myself. there are a couple of things that i did want to mention. u the first one is one that i -- the first one is one that i
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appreciate a great deal. as you know, for some period of time a number of us have been working on a va cemetery in the ohm ha area. i do want to thank you for including that in the f.y.14 budget request. there is about 112,000 veterans and their families who don't have a va cemetery within 70 miles that will be positively impacted. i didn't want the start of this hearing going without me saying how much i appreciate that. toaddition, i also wanted mention on a more concerning note though is the issue of facilities. as i mentioned, i've gone through these budget efforts where you are trying to put together the necessary funds and get it passeth